My calendar reminds me that tomorrow marks the anniversary of my first post on the old Idol Stalker blog that I used to write for that was part of the b5media network. That was way back in 2006, when I started being a fan of the show, so it’s been awhile! My flame for American Idol has died. It flickered when Simon left and Steven Tyler joined the cast and completely went out with the casting of Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. I knew I wasn’t interested in hearing anything Nicki had to say, what has she really accomplished in her career musically? But apparently I should give Keith Urban a little more credit.
You see, I recently saw that one of my favorite all-time performers and musicians, Harry Connick, Jr., was a mentor this past week for the four remaining contestants. I really need to pick up his latest album, “Every Man Should Know“.Â I haven’t watched a single episode this year, so I had no idea Harry would be mentoring and no clue they were already down to four contestants. I was really bummed I missed an opportunity to see Harry and watch him perform a song off of his new album, but after reading an article about his involvement last week, I’m even more upset I missed it. Harry brought a little Simon with him and was brutally honest with the performers and booted the trend of American Idol fluff instead of substance to the music being performed.
His breaking point came when Randy Jackson implied that Connick’s advice had hindered Kree’s vacuous rendition of “Stormy Weather,“Â which none of the judges liked. He thought she should have sung it more like Etta James, as she had wanted to do. As it turned out, her rendition was neither Etta nor Lena, nor even Kree. It lacked any personality or feeling. You could see Connick about to pop his cork. That’s when Keith Urban went into the audience, took Connick by the hand and brought him to the judge’s table. Taking a seat, Connick proceeded to school a very defensive Jackson in the art of singing standards. The point Connick tried to make, which Jackson didn’t want to hear, was that the show’s contestants didn’t know these classic songs well enough to take liberties with their melodies and lyrics. In doing so, they were murdering the music.
That’s what I mean folks. I don’t belittle what Randy Jackson has accomplished in the industry, but he is by no means as a skilled a musician and performer as Connick by any standards. I commend Keith Urban for understanding that shortcoming and bringing Connick to the judges platform to share his expert opinions rightfully.
After a little more research in trying to find some video clips of Connick’s actions on the show, I stumbled across a number of articles stating that Harry may be a judge of the show in the coming seasons. This would be great! I’d absolutely start watching the show again then, just for him.
Part of the problem is there are so many singing performance shows these days, it’s easy not to be loyal to one and American Idol has given me nothing I’m interested in being loyal to anymore. My preference now is The Voice. Give me Connick and a female judge that’s actually accomplished something and I’ll add Idol back to the DVR queue next season. That would be just the re-boot Idol may need to come back into the spotlight.