Thursday, 1 March 2012

American Idol: Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

I've been a devotee of American Idol for more than ten years, but it may be time to change the channel.

It's so manufactured and sanitized this season. There are no contestants with so-so voices and big hearts, no underdogs to root for. It's as if Nigel Lithgoe went to Central Casting and picked 24 professional singers, gave them lame backstories and offered them up as fresh faced little hopefuls from Middle America.

Where are the surprises?

Where the heck is another Adam Lambert?

I'm also pretty sick of the judges calling them all "stars" and suggesting they are all destined for big ticket careers. Where's the criticism?

J Lo, Steve-o and the Dog seem to be content to spoon feed the hopefuls pablum while they croon us all to sleep.

I found myself yearning for Simon Cowell.


We all know what has happened. For years, American Idol has ruled the ratings roost with no direct competition. Now there are too many singing competitions with bigger and bigger names as judges.

It's enough to spin our heads right round, like a record baby, round round.

In the wake of the popularity of The Voice, Lithgoe appears to be taking no chances. He needs big voices and beautiful faces that can chart. The last few years, Idol winners have been hopeless. Instead of topping Billboard, they're headlining country fairs.

Taylor Hicks, Scottie McCreary, Jordon Sparks.

Come on.

The whole show is just boring.

What Idol needs is surprises, underdogs.

And heart.

Lithgoe needs to remember what made Idol popular in the first place.

Kids who weren't perfect. Kids with real backstories.

Not robots.

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