Watching the second round of auditions and all the emphasis on the judges, I couldn’t help but think of Jimmy Iovine. Iovine has worked with them all- U2, Tom Petty, Eminem, Dr Dre, Lennon, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas- and, at the end of the day, as head of the powerful and successful Interscope label, it will be up to him as to who records what and what the sound will be.

These auditions were held in- when?- August to October?- and which means that by today, he pretty much knows who he wishes to be on his talent roster. I am still sticking my head out and saying that 15-year-old Kenzie Palmer will have her first record out by the time she is 16.

I have gone back and watched her performance and Steven Tyler saying she doesn’t have “pizazz” and The Dawg “reluctantly” giving her a “pass” to Hollywood, but they are lousy actors.

She had to make it as she has so much talent as a singer. Jimmy Iovine would have picked up on that immediately. The man is no musical intellectual midget and the odds are that, win, lose or draw, he has a plan for her.

The music world has not had a real female teen idol for ages. Who was the last one? Tiffany? Debbie Boone? Brandy? Wait-what the hell am I saying? There was  Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift- but both have now grown up too quickly and have probably lost their core fan base.

Growing old is a strange thing- even if it’s going from 16 to 19. Lots can happen in those three years.

For a while there, I thought Nikki Yanofsky would be up there with Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, but she has wandered into Jazz and standards and has grown older than her years.

Charice? She could never be a pop star. She was destined to be a David Foster-produced moppet and “Glee” is about as “Pop” as she will ever be. Watch her move on to Broadway.

What Iovine and his team of arrangers and producers bring to “American Idol” is hipness mixed with A&R and marketing savvy. This is what makes Interscope and other Universal Music labels so different to the sameness and safety of labels under Sony, the show’s former music partner.

So, while Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson can be sweet and nice, or spicy or dicey, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. They are there for “marquee value” and what they say has zero relevance.

At the end of the day, the viewers/the fans vote and then Jimmy Iovine and his team take over.

As a betting man, I would say he has already taken over. I have no idea who else has gone through to Hollywood, but from those shown, apart from Kenzie Palmer, I would be tipping that Travis Orlando would have already made Iovine’s hit list

As for the auditions in New Orleans and Louisiana, despite the judges giving Hollywood passes to a number of contestants, none had any “pizazz”- at least to me.

Jordan Dorsey could develop into an artist along the lines of, perhaps, a Chris Brown. He is “the whole package”. But the others who received the raving were all pretty average- for the time being. Would Simon Cowell have put them through? One doubts it.

Perhaps Iovine can weave some of his magic and show true “artist development” at a time when there is none. This could be something else new which the revamped “American Idol” brings to the table and for the good of music.

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Semmens and Michelle Ellen, Hans Ebert. Hans Ebert said: JIMMY IOVINE: THE MUSICAL POWER BEHIND "AMERICAN IDOL".: [...]

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