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Impact of "American Idol" on Music


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As a longtime performing musician, I am constantly appalled by things like "American Idol." It's a popularity contest for the blandest of the bland. The singers aren't judged so much on their ability (which is usually overblown & histrionic, throwing melisma all over what was a melody) as they are on their personality, which sadly falls in line with the crap that the major labels want to sell the public (since the labels don't know how to sell music anymore). "American Idol" is to music as Paris Hilton is to...whatever it is she supposedly does. LCD = lowest common denominator.

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While Paris has never been my favorite, I have to admit I think she has much more talent and is WAY more entertaining than Taylor!

I'm still favoring Chris. He picks some pretty bizarre songs to sing, but I love his voice.

Katherine is hit or miss...one song sounds great, the next way off key.

The competition is getting tough..

:):)

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To the detractors of American Idol.... Heck, it's just entertainment. If you look at it as real serious music-making and compare it to serious artists, of course it falls short, and of course you'll hate it.

But I just see it as a diversion --- sort of like a new generation's "Partridge Family" or "The Monkees" (referring to the TV shows). Take it for what it is.... Lowest common denominator? Maybe so, but even at its "worst," it's mildly entertaining. Back in the day, the Monkees got hammered by the press and serious music fans, but as it turned out, they actually recorded some memorable things. Some would say the same about the Partridge Family. It's the same sort of thing: prime-time TV with music as the focus. Just my opin...

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Well put LC. But let's add this: It's one of only a handful of shows the entire family can watch and watch together and enjoy watching it as a family more than watching it alone in separate rooms in the same house. American Idol brings back family viewing and that alone makes it important.

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Tommy, LC..I agree wholeheartedly with both of you!

And for those of us who DO watch the show..tonight is "Elvis night"...it should be lots of fun... :)

(I can't help it..I really AM addicted to this show...and LOST..but that's it..honest.) :)

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Kathryn should have worn a tight black leather outfit like the 1968 Elvis on "Elvis Night". She was already at a disadvantage because it was a guys night, so she needed to dress up sexy and/or cool. But she dresses like she's going to the grocery store, and flubs a couple of lines.

I hope she still beats out boring Elliot in the bottom 2 voting. She has the 2nd best voice, and with her looks, should be in the finals with Chris.

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I'm ready to get on a plane, fly out to L.A., track Katharine down and coach her. She's the one that actually could sell records after this competition. She's got a great voice but she's on the verge of blowing it. Here are the things I'd fix. Number 1. WIPE THAT SMILE OFF YOUR FACE AND KEEP IT OFF! This isn't the Miss America Pageant, it's a singing competition. You can't sing a heart-rending ballad with a smile on your face and be believable. Stop it immediately. Number 2. QUIT GOING FOR THE "STAR SEARCH, OVER-THE-TOP, WHITNEY/MARIAH VOCAL FLOURISH" AT THE CLIMAX OF EVERY SONG IF YOU CAN'T NAIL IT! YOU TRIED IT TWICE LAST NIGHT AND MISSED BOTH TIMES. WHEN YOU MISS IT, IT MAKES YOU SOUND LIKE A COMPLETE AMATEUR. You don't need to do that to win. Know your limitations. Think classic Linda Ronstadt instead of Mariah Carey. No one likes that stuff even when Mariah does it. Keep it simple. Number 3. WEAR SOMETHING SEXY, THIS ISN'T A JOB INTERVIEW. There are two red-blooded guys sitting there. Randy and Simon are not immune to a little sex appeal. You're the only girl left, USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! Having said that, you might want to go rent a copy of 9 1/2 Weeks and see what can be done with a grey flannel suit and a good fedora. Number 4. CONCENTRATE ON BELIEVABILITY. Elliot is technically a better singer. Taylor's quirkiness and likeability have gotten him all the way to the finals. You've got to convince the audience that you have real emotional depth. Otherwise they are going to perceive you as someone who should be doing dinner theater and vote you off the show. You have to make them believe you. Good luck to you, Katharine. ec

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I'm crushed !! :(

Well, ok, not really...and I WISH I could agree with you, Eric..I DO ! But for me, Katharine just sounds like a million other female singers out there. She has nothing special or unique to offer. (Though maybe with your coaching, things could improve dramatically !!) :) Marlene

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That's it! Katherine McPhee caught my, um, attention early on, but there's been something about her that ain't ringing true. I think Eric nailed it: the smile. It's always there --- painted on, like on a doll's face --- and it looks forced as hell. It gives you the feeling that, "I'm doing this because mom wants me to, but I don't really wanna be here, so I'll just try to smile through it all."

The over-the-top vocal histrionics are a bit forced, too.

If she knew about this great advice she's getting from Eric Carmen, I bet she'd take heed....

(Marlene, she has a bit of a "hot" look (trying not to sound like a male chauvinist pig), and that can help her.... A lot of fellas might overlook the "million other female vocalists" thing because of her appearance....)

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LC said:

(Marlene, she has a bit of a "hot" look (trying not to sound like a male chauvinist pig), and that can help her.... A lot of fellas might overlook the "million other female vocalists" thing because of her appearance....)

Yeah, yeah, I know..and she IS beautiful, I'm not disputing that, but this IS a singing contest, isn't it ?? .....so...

oh, never mind. :(:(:(

(And btw..I don't think there's ANYthing wrong with Chris' looks !! ;) )

Ok, I just need to pout a little more.....then I'll be ready for next week !

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Ohhh Eric nailed it on that Whitney/Mariah flourish. I was in the grocery store yesterday and heard a song by one of those vocal gymnists and got to thinking... if Katharine wins, we'll have another 15 years of that. PLEASE, whoever produces her, PLEASE don't let her do that. And for what it's worth, I think Chris and Elliot could both do with a little less vibrato. It sounds too much like they're going through a Leslie Speaker cabinet

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