October 26, 2011

X-Factor 17 to 12

Posted in Music, Television tagged at 9:48 pm by myrlinn

In the end, the judges made the right choices but did we really have to have all that manufactured drama on the way to those decisions?

Choosing Dexter Haygood and then saddling him with that song and that presentation? He needed something more raw, gritty, that screams soul-deep pain … and he got vanilla.

Kicking off Melanie Amaro then bringing her back … did anybody, except perhaps Melanie herself, believe that was for real?

Making the music for Philip Lomax so loud that we could hardly hear him sing?

Putting through Simone Battle and Tiah Tolliver? C’mon, it would have been more real if Simon had put through Caitlin Koch.

The judges make much of the artist bring ‘authentic’. We could do with a bit more of that on their behaviour and judging! As it is, it’s like failed 4-person stand-up comedy.

Lucky for the show, the talent is enough to keep me watching. Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, Leroy Bell, Drew … they’re FANTASTIC!

Talking about Drew, they should fire whoever styled her. Her hair was a mess.

Actually, Rachel Crow didn’t look too hot either. The buttons on her top was straining, and she’s such a character, I would have added bright accents somewhere. I think their own clothes were a lot better.

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November 15, 2010

Voicing your opinions shouldn’t be risky

Posted in Musings, Television tagged at 10:10 am by myrlinn

I don’t watch much TV these days, but for some reason, I switched on the TV last night… and caught part of Singapore Talking. First time I ever watched that show.  The topic was why teenagers don’t speak up.

What caught my attention though was the response to an opinion by a member of the audience that it’s difficult to voice opinions once you enter the workforce because you will be worried about how you will be perceived by your colleagues and your employer. One of the panel members, this bloke from Heartware, said something to the effect that if what you’re saying is “real” (a word he uses a lot – I believe that that’s his way of describing opinions founded on fact), then you have to go ahead and take the risk and just voice your opinion — if you lose your job, so be it, you can find another job.

Now, to be fair, I think his main point is that if you believe in what you say, stand up and be counted. Don’t be risk-averse. And I do believe that people should be held accountable for their words.

But, why should you have to pay a price for voicing your opinion? An employer should not be allowed to dismiss an employee simply for voicing divergent opinions, if such opinions are rational and well thought out. It shouldn’t be risky for people to voice reasoned opinions. And employers who fire, blackball or discriminate against their people for that reason should be called to account.

April 29, 2010

Random thoughts on American Idol 9 contestants

Posted in Music, Television tagged , , , , at 7:12 am by myrlinn

American Idol seems to be floundering a bit this year. Which just goes to show that it’s the quality of contestants which makes the show, not the overpaid judges and host! 

One of the things we’re missing this year is a “story” – a battle royale between  contestants who are really different from each other (Clay Aiken vs Ruben Studdard, the two Davids, Kris Allen vs Adam Lambert), amazing out-of-the-pop-box singers, compelling personalities who keep you watching, contestants who keep improving with every performance…

Still, having said that, I’ve probably watched more of this season than recent seasons. Maybe because I keep pulling for various contestants to hit their stride.

A few random thoughts on this year’s contestants:

Crystal Bowersox – Compelling performer. She’s completely at one with her music, and because of that she pulls you in too.  Where she seems to be falling back a bit, though, is that she’s not having an arc-like run on idol — improving and wowing everyone more and more each week. She started off strong, and stayed at virtually the same level.  Her looks, image and style of music point to a niche market, which is not what an idol winner is usually marketed to. Still, seems to me that she’s clearly the deserving winner of American Idol this year.

Siobhan Magnus – Loved her quirkiness at the beginning, when it seemed more like her being her.  But I get the feeling that she now takes herself, and the competition, too seriously. She’d be more appealing if she gives off more of a don’t-care-what-you-think vibe. Lots of potential in this girl though – she’s got the vocal talent (I don’t love her tone, but I appreciate that she can sing), the looks and perhaps just as important, she loves the stage  and loves creating drama. She’s probably the only one this year who could do really well post-Idol in the pop market, perhaps marketed in the Lady Gaga mold?

Lilly Scott – Wish she were still in the competition.

Tim Urban – Not the best range and stylistic maturity of the bunch, but I miss him now that he’s gone. He’s always pleasant to listen to with a nice tone to his voice, and mostly, I like his intelligence. His answer to Kara when she asked him if  he understood what she meant struck the right note.

Aaron Kelly – Lovely, rich voice. He’s someone who could have done really well with a few more years of performing experience under his belt.

Lee DeWyze – Not too sure how he can stand out post-idol, but he’s got a great tone that will work well on radio, and a certain sweetness to his personality.  He has an outside chance of challenging Crystal for top spot this year.

Casey James – may well end up being remembered for his hair 🙂  Well, at least his stylist has moved away from the Shirley Temple ringlets we saw a few weeks ago to a wavy style which is more  flattering.

May 21, 2009

Idol finale thoughts…

Posted in Television tagged , , at 11:53 am by myrlinn

I tuned in to the Idol finale not expecting anything much, but it was actually a show that’s worth rewatching, with very good guest artistes, and memorable performances from the idols

David Cook was AMAZING, vocally and performance-voice. What an intense, heartfelt performance.

And in what turns out to be a foreshadowing of the results… Kris Allen more than matched vocals and paces with Keith Urban; while Adam Lambert was overshadowed by KISS.

Not a result many in the media would have expected, and I guess many people will point to excuses like:

* Adam fans pissed off Gokey fans, causing them to vote for Kris
* People who liked Adam were more complacent about voting
* Kris was the “safe” choice for middle America.

Perhaps all that contributed to Kris’ win, but I’ve been thinking for a while now that Kris has been gaining votes through his obvious affinity for catchy melodies and rhythms that people enjoy listening to, thus consolidating the popular vote week after week. His clear enjoyment of and passion for music-making is also very infectious, and endearing. He may also have been inadvertently helped by the coronation song. Sure, he didn’t sing it as perfectly as Adam, but I think Randy was absolutely right in that that song suited him better.

And Adam sure wasn’t helped by Simon Fuller’s choice of song for the final. Sure, he did really well on the song, but I think he would have had a better chance of a water-cooler moment with a more dramatic rock song which would have allowed him to give full expression to the outlandish side of his personality. Without that type of “moment”, his performances on final night only slightly edged out Chris’s, and only because he had better vocals.

I’m rather curious as to the vote difference. I’ve been speculating for a while now that Adam hasn’t been getting as many votes as the show would have liked you to think (I mean, Simon asking people to vote for him in the Top 3 show.. that’s telling, I think).  The fact that they didn’t announce the vote difference makes me think that Kris won by a decisive margin.

And, I must say I’m actually looking forward to checking out Kris’ CD. Not sure I’d be buying it, but well, with his talent for arrangements, I’d be waiting to see what original ideas he comes up with, what he does with the plate of generic-pop most Idol winners have been served with.

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