Wednesday night’s show was live. Ryan made a major point of Wednesday night’s show being live. And it was full of flat singing and missed notes, more so than, say, last Wednesday night.
This is worrisome.
What is also worrisome, to me, is seeing just how much is being done for the current contestants this year. This is very new. They’re even re-arranging the songs for them.
In past years, contestants who sought out or created different song arrangements stood out – Bo, Daughtry, Cook, Adam, Kris – because the others didn’t. It was one of the things that made viewers look forward to their performances. You know – how would they fit their style into this week’s theme, or just what would they do next? But also note that only two of those men actually won their season, and Daughtry left in fourth place. He also, of course, is the biggest success out of that list.
The main thing, though, is that all of them found or created these arrangements either themselves or along with the band. Adam, as we know, pretty much spammed the band leader with ideas. Ricky was willing to help anyone, but he couldn’t initiate the conversation. No one held their hands. No one told them what songs to sing – only what they couldn’t do. No big producers worked with them. The mentors when they had them just gave them a little advice they could ignore or not. So they earned their accolades. (Yes, Adam and Kris used each other as sounding boards, as good roommates should, and both helped their fellow contestants but the hard work belonged to each of them.)
And then came season 9, where Andrew Garcia coasted on the one decent rearrangement he did, and none of the rest were at all memorable. Most went pretty much traditional with what they were given, or so I remember. And I guess the Idol people got worried – traditional performances are nice but BORING and karaoke.
So, to make sure that they had a better season, they’re now doing the arrangements (and maybe the song choices) for the contestants. Which means we’re back to karaoke, and it’s a real handicap for people like Paul who CAN change songs to suit himself (witness his lovely Blackbird) better than someone else could. It also takes away one of the things that makes the show interesting because I don’t CARE what some Interscope guy did with this song. I want to know what Naima will do. In other words, they’re shooting themselves in the foot.
No, I don’t expect Thia to be able to do this, or Scotty, or, for that matter, James. But they’re better served with the original arrangements anyway – this would only hurt them.
Set the contestants free to show who they are, please.