Daily Archives: May 28, 2010

Who’s Going to Replace Paula?

To me, that’s the better question than “who’s going to replace Simon” for subsequent Idol seasons.  It was evident to me, watching this playback (and David – GAH! – looking adorable) how Paula really was so central to anchoring this show.  Yes, Simon is the flamboyant one (in the sense of being the most outrageous with his biting criticism and the one who both contestants wanted to please and audiences listened to).  However, did anyone else notice that Simon generally looked bored with the finale performances and the various “tributes” … until Paula showed up on stage? His frown immediately melted into a smile (the first time that night).

Crazy, loopy Paula brought a lot to this show and made it palatable.  Let’s be real here.  Her absence was immediately felt as soon as America recognized that the Top 24 contestants selected by the “judges” were so subpar to previous seasons.  Verdict: Paula was the primary judge scouting the talent.

The reason why the female and contestants of color failed to do so well this season? Paula wasn’t there to 1)appreciate the soul, 2) paint contestants in a positive light, and 3) offer criticism from the perspective of a PERFORMER.  Ellen may be a stand-up comedian, but she’s no music artist – this makes a difference in what she could offer in terms of criticism.  Kara-the-songwriter can only talk about “marketability,” which means nothing because the show is about transforming average Jane and Joe into “marketable pop stars.”  And, most importantly, neither gal has Paula’s heart.

And that really came through when she spontaneously joined the judges panel and sat on Simon’s lap.  Only Paula could do something so random, she immediately got into the Idols’ tribute, pointing out to Simon the various memorable Idol alumni (my interpretation of that moment: “Oh look Simon! There goes David Archuleta! I still want his head dangling from my rearview mirror! Woohoo!”), and she then did what Paula does best: she gave them an enthusiastic standing ovation!

We did not see anyone from the judges panel do that all season long.

Man, what Paula would have done to improve the confidence levels of Siobhan, Paige, and Aaron Kelly!

(And I still wanted her to join Janet on stage to do the “Nasty” dance she choreographed!)

So, as far as I’m concerned, that really needs to be the question: who’s going to replace Paula? Because, anyone who tried to replace Simon would immediately become a Simon caricature … unless they picked someone who was confident enough in his own persona to do his own schtick.

I still vote for Whitney Houston to fill Paula’s shoes. heh.