Daily Archives: January 12, 2010

Arbitrary Top 10 American Idol Lists

It’s inevitable that with each new season premiere of American Idol, some entertainment reporter or critic somewhere comes out with their “Top 10” or “best of the best” lists of American Idol performances, and they’re usually so random.  I mean, sure, there’s always a few that make everyone’s list – Fantasia’s “Summertime,” Carrie Underwood’s “Alone,” and David’s “Imagine” – but, imagine my surprise to not only see David’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” in NY Daily News Top 10 list, but no mention of “Imagine.”

While I’m in complete disagreement about its placement (only #9) and the mention of many of the other performances, I must commend the writer for selecting DLTSGDOM over Imagine because it really was heartfelt, and as Ruben had described, David was “on fire” that night. It’s still a performance that gets me every time.  

After David, After Paula, After Simon, Must the Show Go On?

I had already predicted that American Idol’s days were numbered in a rather David-centric view of the world. I also knew, or at least had a hunch that, once Paula left the show, Simon Cowell would soon follow.  So now that he has announced he’s leaving Idol after Season 9, all I have to say is: it’s time to pull the plug.

Just as Oprah decided that 25 was a nice round number to end her show, it’s high time American Idol make a similar decision, if not with Season 9, then definitely with Season 10.  It’s time! It really is!

Consider: since the crowning of the first American Idol, Kelly Clarkson, we’ve all witnessed her rocket launch to multi-platinum victory, sell out concerts, entertaining music, credible music awards, and a whole lot of weight gain and public battles with some of pop music’s heavyweights.  That’s a helluva track record, and that’s just one contestant – and the first winner to boot.

Since Kelly, we’ve witnessed a 7th-place finisher win an Oscar and serenade the President of the United States.  We’ve witnessed other Idol winners blaze the charts in one genre (country in the case of Carrie) and color the charts of another (R&B in the case of Ruben and Fantasia). Broadway has been packed full of Idol alumni (Clay, Diana, Tamyra, Taylor, and Fantasia to name a few), and so has MTV and VH1.  Eight seasons, and the musical and TV landscape has already been irrevocably changed by American Idol.  

What more is there to prove?  Having shaped the first decade of the 21st century, it’s time for Idol to wind down and end on a graceful note.  What more is there to “discover”?  We’ve already found the perfect crooner in David.  We’re not going to find a more vocally stellar contestant than Mindy Doo.  No one is going to do eccentric performances like Clay or Fantasia or Adam.  Whatever new contestants there are, they’ve already memorized the “formula” and will oblige with “good TV” more than genuine talent.  

And with Simon and Paula gone, I’m hoping Randy will follow suit. 

If there is to be a Season 10, let it be the last one, and let it be a Retro Special.  Each week an ode to seasons past, with Idol alumni grooming the final season contestants.  It’s wishful thinking on my part to think a show that lacks grace would end things gracefully – perhaps David’s graciousness has colored my view.

Contrary to other Idol fans who have come to rely on the show for their raison d’etre, I for one know that an American Idol without heart (Paula), wit (Simon), and genuine talent (the few good apples that have found their way to us), is not the American Idol we’ve come to know and love and treat like an addiction. 

All good things must come to an end, and AI has overstayed its welcome.