By Hans Ebert
Chairman and CEO
Fast Track Global and WE-Enhance Inc
(Source: Ryan Seacrest)
Okay, first the good news about the new season of American Idol: Nicki Minaj is very good television in her role as a judge. She is wacky, she is out there and she’s unpredictable. She also does a great British accent.
Is she a good judge of new talent? Dunno. Time will tell.
The other new judges? Well, Keith Urban is one of my favorite guitarists and seems a bloody good bloke, but, he comes across as being a bloody good bloke who’s also bloody boring.
The other new judge- Mariah Carey- is very poetic and makes sweeping gestures and plays the role of the aging diva very well in a Tallulah Bankhead kinda way whereas Randy Jackson, well, after twelve years on the show, he is the sole survivor though still not captaining the ship.
Nicki Minaj running the show and while watching the show, I kept wanting Beyonce and Jay-Z in starring roles, but that would have blown the production budget.
So, after watching the first night of auditions, the judges were in the starring roles while the usual crew of the good, the bad and the fuglies made fools of themselves, or, with some clever editing were made to look even more stupid than they are.
Nine years ago when William Hung crashed the party, made an ass of himself and sang, “She Bangs,” it was funny. He was the Jackie Chan of Idol and it worked for him and the show.
He appeared in movies and became a freakoid hit by even being paid big bucks to make public appearances at dragon i in Hong Kong. I use you, you use me and we all make use of each other. It’s a wonder he didn’t get a reality series and marry a Kardashian.
(Source: Kentmccann Fitness)
In 2013, however, having a pimply Chinese guy who can barely speak English and this being part of the “joke” and then have him audition and attempt to sing a tuneless version of, supposedly, “The Phantom Of The Opera”, and is meant to be the “big joke,” well, it’s not funny. It becomes a very lame racist “gag”.
I cringed when I watched Anthony Chang- I think that’s his name- become a helpless prop in this setup.
The Turbanator, a Sikh guy who auditioned has gone through to Hollywood after some scripted dialogue about whether he should stay or if he should go.
Frankly, it was all scripted and rehearsed when Minaj blurted out, “So I am told you wear a different turban to match your outfits?” She was TOLD aka BRIEFED? And so followed the rest of the routine.
It reminded me of the great Susan Boyle con on Britain’s got talent and where the judges feigned surprise at her performance when they had to have seen her at rehearsal. And then all those YouTube views the next day? Without them being bought?
Apart from a number of freakoids and sad sack cases who were tone deaf, there were a few other props in the setup like one poor sod edited to look as if he had made it through to Hollywood but was only day dreaming.
Now this was just plain cruel and those release contracts signed which allow all footage shot to be used without any Rights issues are dangerous.
Elsewhere, there were a handful of Okay singers with the usual quota of sob stories who went through.
By now, once you hear a contestant has undergone some adversity, you already know that they have the sympathy vote and must go through to Hollywood.
Sure, this was only the season opener of a show most of us have followed as if life depended on it, but that was very long ago and when we were not bombarded by social media overload.
Idol will, I hope, get better and find some good original talent and not more karaoke singers.
Frankly, I’m waiting to watch a series called “Bunheads” and the new series of “Glee.”
The former show at least has women who look more my type and are talented. Tastes change in twelve years. Even in four years.
I’ve had my fill of karaoke sessions with celebrity judges masquerading as a television show.