Monday, January 11, 2010

Breaking News - Simon Says So Long

I'm sure you've heard the news by now. No, we haven't yet achieved peace in the Middle East. A cure has not been found for the common cold. And global warming remains a point of "hot" contention. Today, what's the news that everyone's talking about?

Simon is leaving American Idol.

Yep, this is his last season. In Fall 2011 he'll bring UK sensation X-Factor, which he produces, to Fox. Since he's also a judge on the show, he has chosen to bid a fond farewell to Idol.

This might be a good time to take a look at the state of American Idol:

Paula Abdul has left the building - Her sometimes saccharin-sweet, often meandering commentary was a perfect counter to Simon's acerbic critiques. At heart, she's a music industry professional, and she knew what she was talking about... even if it didn't always come out the way she intended. I'm sorry she won't be around this season. Still, it's not a deal breaker. The show will go on.

Ellen DeGeneres is the fourth judge - I like Ellen. She's a funny gal. And that's the problem. Ellen is a comedian. She knows nothing about the music industry except what she likes. If you saw her stint as a guest host on So You Think You Can Dance, then you know what I mean. Most of her comments will probably be meant to elicit laughs. Which is going to get old pretty quickly. I hope I'm wrong, but that's how I see it. Still, Ellen's not a deal breaker, either. The show will go on.

Randy and Kara haven't gone anywhere - Randy's always been pretty solid, although he needs to find a synonym for "pitchy." And Kara, while she has a tendency to monologue and take herself a bit too seriously, brings mostly positives to the table. (Just don't let her pen the song again for this year's winning contestant.) Randy and Kara provide a little continuity from last year, which is good. The show will go on.

Simon leaves at the end of this season - Uh oh. Simon is probably the most unique component of this program. Yes, he can be rude, but most of the time, he's right. And when he does honor a contestant with a compliment, it means so much more than if it came from anybody else. This one could not only be a deal breaker, but a show killer.

Come 2011, it will be interesting to see how the ratings are affected by the overhauled judges' table. I'll be watching... how about you?


Dina Sleiman said...

I hadn't heard. Thanks for sharing the news, Jen.

Carole said...

American Idol is not must-see TV for me, although I've enjoyed the last few seasons that I've watched. The auditions are crazy, so I want until the final group is chosen before tuning in.

Although I may change my mind, right now I don't plan on watching it anymore. Last season's blatant favoritism toward Adam Lambert turned me off completely. Granted, he was very talented, but the whole thing was too political for me.

It will be interesting to see the effect of Simon leaving, because he is the judge to please in my opinion.

Bottom line: I prefer dancing and enjoy So You Think You Can Dance much more.