At last I know what all the fuss is about. For a couple years I've been hearing about this American Idol program. Now that I have cable (for the first time since I've been in Sapporo), I'm able to watch it. The show is so much more impressive than I had expected, and I can easily see how people get caught up in it.
I'm not sure which I enjoy more - watching the young people's performances, especially as they develop vocally (at least most of them) as well as become more stage-savvy, or the judge's critiques, which are so often right on the mark (even when they disagree).
My only complaint is that I'd like to see more thorough critiques, and not ones that just seem made for sound bites.
I would also LOVE to see all that goes on behind the scenes, especially in terms of blocking. As someone with a graduate degree in Theatre and long-term member of a semi-professional chorus, I've been on stage more often than in the audience. My fascination is not with the performance itself, but in all that went into making the performance, particularly the choice of song and outfit, but above all the vocal training.
Each week (even though, in Japan, we're about 3 weeks behind the American broadcasts so I already know the results), I look forward to seeing what each of the contestants is going to come up with. And I look forward to the reactions from the judges. I can't help but adore Simon (Cowell), holding my breath with the contestants as to whether he's going to tell them in his frank way that the song was a mess, or come up with his delectable comments such as, "You naughty thing" or "You little tiger." Simon is, of course, the real star of the show.
As for Melinda, she had me on "My Funny Valentine," the 2nd time I heard her sing. Another favorite was "I Am a Woman." Since I've performed "I've Got Rhythm" myself (in a medley of Gershwin tunes), I can't wait to hear that one - which will be broadcast in Japan in a couple of weeks.
If Melinda Doolittle were to cut a record today, I'd buy it for sure. Her performances take my breath away. Go, Melinda!
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