Thursday, January 07, 2016

AI

American Idol just started its 15th and last season.  I'm not much a fan of "reality" shows but I did watch AI regularly in its early years.  Based on a British show that few thought would work in America, it quickly became a blockbuster.  It's arguably the most popular show ever in this country, being the only one to be #1 in the ratings for six consecutive years.

It was a show that had its cake and ate it, too.  It allowed viewers to see the early tryouts and laugh at how bad some were (which was actually my least favorite part of the show).  Then we'd see the behind-the-scenes story of how those chosen came to Hollywood and got eliminated down to a manageable size.  Then we'd have the weekly elimination shows, shot live, as each performer still around got to do a song (or more) based on a particular theme.  Even better--ratings-wise--AI was two shows in one: the performance show, and next day's results, where the votes were counted and someone was kicked off.

Even if you didn't always go for the music, it was fun to see the battles--Kelly versus Justin, Clay versus Ruben, Carrie versus Bo and so on.

What made the show work, more than just music, were the personalities.  There was host Ryan Seacrest, who did what he needed to do to keep things moving (poor co-host Brian Dunkleman was gone after season one, missing the gravy train).  There were the judges, in particular the first three, Randy Jackson, Paula Adbul and Simon Cowell--especially Simon--who had great interplay and represented different styles of decision-making.  In later years, as new judges were added and the old judges left, the show was never the same.

Then there were the contestants.  A good mix of personalities made for great rooting interest.  I think the show's best season was its fourth.  (I stopped watching entirely after the sixth).  Here's one of my favorite performances from that season.  It was 70s "dance music" night and for some reason they let Bo Bice get away with singing a straight rocker.


3 Comments:

Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Ugh. Basically, 10 years since you *quit* watching. I can't stand it.

1:27 PM, January 07, 2016  
Blogger LAGuy said...

You can't stand that I missed so much or that I watched so much?

1:35 PM, January 07, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

I can't stand that my hair would be so gray if it weren't already gone altogether. I'm still thinking Rockford Files ought to be current TV . . .

4:23 PM, January 07, 2016  

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