Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wrapping up the 2009-2010 season

American Idol

Did the best singer win? No. But, Lee probably "needed" the win and the Idol/19 machine push more than Crystal. Crystal is a "true" artist, but her style of music isn't always the most commercial. I can see her still performing in 20 years, while I can't quite say the same for Lee. I think Lee is clearly the least talented singer to have ever won, and he's in the same genre as David Cook, Daughtry, and even Kris Allen to an extent, but isn't anywhere nearly as talented or inspiring as any of them...and Kris for all his talents didn't really inspire a lot of fans either.

I liked Siobhan and Casey and I can see Casey having some sort of a career as he's good looking, a pretty darn good guitarist, and is a decent singer. Siobhan is perhaps the best pure singer from this season, but can she have a sustained career? She's a quirky personality and somehow should find a way to combine those 2 things into something successful.

As for the judges, Simon had clearly checked out of this season and just didn't care. Ellen was HORRIBLE, as I predicted. Randy is useless. Kara turned in the best judging performance all season. Who knew?

Going forward, Idol should fire everyone but Kara. Give Ryan's job to Ellen. Hire 2 new judges (so ONLY 3 total) and consider the following for those final 2 positions, Shania Twain, Neil Patrick Harris, Ken "Babyface" Edmonds, superproducer Steve Lillywhite, P Diddy, Ben Folds, Piers Morgan, Natalie Maines, Don Was, and someone heretofore unknown (as Simon was originally.) I would prefer that one be a singer/performer and one a producer/talent scout.

They also should incorporate the judges in the process in terms of who goes like they do on DWTS and X Factor. That gets rid of the "judges save," and instead allows the judges to pick kbetween the Bottom 2 or 3.

Get rid of the theme nights that focus on one artist, and don't go further back for a "decade" theme than the 80s. Country night, R&B night, Rock & Roll night ALL make more sense than Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, Sinatra, Shania Twain, etc...

AI also needs to give the contestants more choices to sing, and not allow a song from earlier in the season (or the prior season) to be sung. They also should ban any song performed more than 3 times, and certain songs should be banned that are associated with a "moment" from a former Idol (like Summertime, Stuff Like That There, Hallelujah, Mad World, etc...)

AI had a VERY comprehensive poll on their website asking all sorts of questions about what works and what doesn't, and I HOPE that they got good replies and they take it to heart.


FINALLY a season ending that rocked! It's about time after the last couple that sucked. All in all, it was a pretty good season, but honestly, I wish "Checkmate" had been the "big bad" and not the stoopid Kandorians.


Russell SHOULD have won Samoa, and as much as it pains me to admit, Parvati SHOULD have won Heroes vs Villains. I STILL think that in order to win Survivor you really should have won at least 1 Individual Immunity. I understand "puppet masters" and "social players," but Sandra was neither. Sandra won because she wasn't Russell and by proxy Parvati. Sandra did NOTHING to win. She had no alliance. She had no puppets doing her bidding. She had no strategy other than "boot Russell." The ONLY move she made was getting Russell to evict Coach, and by finding the last HII she kept anyone else from getting it. Whoopee doo.

Amazing Race

This last one was MUCH better than the prior one which had some of the LAMEST challenges ever (like go to the top of this building, run onto the roof, and find your clue...seriously?) That said, the Cowboys SHOULD have won, but they goofed at the end. I still don't like how they bunched the final 3 together onto the same plane back to the US. The brothers were waaaay behind and shouldn't have been brought to parity. Ah well. At least the unlikable lesbian couple didn't win.


WOW! This was a very "slow burn" series. It started with a spark, well a bang anyway, and then slowly burned until the explosive finale. It was one of the best season finales of ANY show this year, and probably one of the best finales ever.


This show finally hit its stride the last few weeks. I see this on a short leash next season. This show has many problems, the kid who plays Tyler, the Vs calling themselves Vs, and the way people are able to do things that they shouldn't (like move about unnoticed on a high tech spaceship.) Let's hope that they get off to a fast start next season.


This series also was quite uneven, but I like it on the whole. Good performances, and good ideas. I like that unlike Star Trek:Voyager, there isn't a "reset button" at the end of each episode. Shit happens and mostly the results stick. This has a LOT of potential, and I hope that they're able to get some traction next season.


This series should be REQUIRED VIEWING for people writing series that have a "serial" format. This shows how characters can evolve naturally and even find love without losing chemistry or jumping the shark. This past season saw the addition of several new characters, and ALL of them worked. Scott Bakula as Chuck's Dad was genius, and Brandon Routh was actually quite good as the largely unlikable character Shaw. Mu-ha-ha indeed. Next season will have Chuck's Mom. I vote for her to be played by Sarah Connor (either Linda Hamilton or Lena Headey...hmm, they both have LH as initials...oddly interesting.)

Top Chef Masters

Ok, I now am CONVINCED that this series is FIXED. Last season, I predicted that Rick Bayless would win before the season started as he is revered as some sort of Messiah in the food world, and surprise surprise, he won. This season, I again predicted that Marcus Samuelsson would win before the start of the season as he too is highly praised whenever I see him mentioned on something and he also seems to be a "favs" of the "foodies." At the end of the day Susur Lee seemed to do the best overall (heck he got 19 and 19.5 out of 20!) but Marcus got the win in the end. I may have to give up on this show. The new Top Chef is about to start and it features a pretty well regarded local chef from Farmington Hills, so I hope he's a good dude and I can cheer him on.


While there are about a hundred unanswered questions http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1936291 the ending was amazing and Vincent laying down next to Jack as Jack died was so moving. This series had FAR more hits than misses, and although LOTS of things were unanswered, the characters got their stories resolved (for the most part.) Kudos for an interesting series and well made finale.

New or Returning Shows I Am or Will Be Watching:

Burn Notice, Eureka, My Life on the D List, The Gates, Worst Case Scenario, Mythbusters, Next Food Network Star, and for the first time America's Got Talent. I think that the choir comprised of former homeless vets will win AGT, and they were introduced in the first episode. They're good, and have an amazing and inspiring story. I also like Michael Grimm and he has a good look, voice, and story, and could have won any other year. The 18 year old who looks like James Blunt is decent, but Grimm is better, and the choir's story trumps them all.

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