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American Idol

From: Dave Death
Category: Art
Date: 20 March 2006


Much better now it's down to the top eleven. Irritating earlier elements have been lost, such as the other contestants having to dance and feign enthusiasm during each performance, and the 'dog-pound' yelping. Paula Abdul continues to be pointless, her comments as inane as those of Sharon Osbourne or Nicky Chapman in the X Factor and the UK version of Pop Idol. Perhaps it's written into the programme brief that the middle judge be a mothering, praise-easy female as a counterpoint to Simon's cliched but usually on-the-nail put-downs.

Kevin Covais' ongoing presence remains an embarassment, and can only explained as a joke on the part of the voting public, perhaps all obeying the call of the Vote for the Worst site. The field has opened up a lot more now, with most of the remaining contestants displaying talent. The early-mooted Taylor Hicks has let his game slip somewhat; or rather, others have improved more than he has, but he's still likely to make the top three. Mandisa shows great promise as an over-sized disco diva - her weight becoming an asset, viz Rosie Gaines. Paris continues to look like Gary Coleman, but turned in a good performance in the first episode of the final dozen. Lisa Tucker, touted earlier as the next Whitney Houston, hasn't blown us away for a while. Chris, greatly hyped by the judges, showed a lack of versatility with his cover of Red Hot Chilli Peppers's version of a Stevie Wonder song, showing that he's only really comfortable with rock vocals. Ace has lost his appeal, and needs to really start delivering. Katherine and Elliot are the two great vocal talents, but probably won't finish as high as they should.

The Americans don't have to pay to make telephone votes for this show, so Lord knows what happens with auto-diallers and redialling teens. Also, I think contestants receive a kind of block vote from their state, rallied by local media, irrespective of their talent or lack thereof.

It's wide open.

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