February 23, 2012

Idol Top 24 revealed -- with surprise ending

American Idol picked its Top 24 this week, but ended on a cliffhanger. One additional guy, a 13th, will get the nod next week among those who had been cut. Will it be Fort Lauderdale's Johnny Keyser, David Leathers Jr., Richie Law or Jermaine Jones?

Of the four, Jermaine, the self-described "mama's boy" with the rich baritone is my favorite by far. But I think he'll have a longer career opportunity in musical theater than in the disposable world of Auto-Tuned pop. As painful as it would be for him to hear he's not the lucky one, it MIGHT be a favor if the judges urge him to pursue theater with his commanding voice.

Richie, the obnoxious cowboy, said last night, "So so won't cut it." Richie is more than a country mile away from being even close to the level of so-so. He's entitled, rude, obnoxious and a walking cliche in his ten gallon hat. The only good thing is Idol judges probably will feel they have country covered so they don't really need him. That's my hope.

I wish I could remember our homeboy, Fort Lauderdale's Johnny, but I really can't. He didn't leave an impression in the few times he appeared on TV.

This leaves 17 year old David. I thought for sure he was a finalist and I think he deserves to be IF he can come up with something other than Michael Jackson karaoke. He's an agreeable young man, decent voice, a nice energy, but he's not fresh at all on the Jackson trip. My guess is he gets the pick in a narrow squeak over Jermaine (altho the judges seemed more crushed by Jermaine's departure than anyone else.)

Here is the one sure thing, the Season 11 American Idol Top 24: (So far, tho she's not the greatest vocalist, the little Reba, country singer Skylar Laine, has struck me the most. If she keeps it country she could become a viable artist. Something authentic about Skylar.)


For more pop culture, Idol and other stuff follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

February 16, 2012

American Idol goes to Vegas

American Idol sends its numerous (TOO numerous) advancing contestants from the Hollywood rounds to Vegas tonight for more weeding out and whatnot. South Florida is still in the running with Angie Ziederman  Images
and Johnny Keyser hoping to advance into the semifinals.Johnny-keyser-american-idol

I won't be live commenting on Idol tonight. Will catch up later on Twitter @HowardCohen


February 08, 2012

Hollywood Week begins on American Idol

Photo: Fox
Hollywood Week begins on tonight's American Idol, and not a moment too soon to help possibly reverse the rating's free-fall. Auditions were notoriously uninspiring and bland this season.

Viewers have been dropping like flies. Apparently, so have some of the contestants, producer Nigel Lythgoe told the press in a recent conference call.

Seems some of the Golden Ticket winners weren't up for the pace of Hollywood auditions. Randy, JLo and Steven Tyler seemed to pass along any contestant with a sob story, whether they had any vocal talent or IT factor or not. Fatigue and reality set in under pressure.

“The best ones were going to bed by 11:30, 12 o’clock. And the ones that sucked when they started and sucked when they finished were going to bed at 3:45, 4 o’clock in the morning,” Lythgoe said.

Of course, the question then is WHY were any people "who sucked" in Hollywood in the first place? Why make so much work for the judges and the viewers?  

One of the contestants even tumbles off the stage, which we will see this week.

“You literally see her wobble and her eyes drop into the back of her head,” Lythgoe said. “She falls, and the cameraman, bless him, tries to dive to catch her, ’cause he’s on the floor on his knees. He doesn’t get there, and knocks his camera, that falls on top of him.”

SPOILER: 53255
It appears our Delray Beach hopeful, Angie Ziederman, the Lady Gaga fan who redeemed her audition with a performance of Blue Bayou, advances from the Hollywood to a Vegas round. She popped onto my @Replies on Twitter last week out of the blue and, to a query on whether she's made it through Hwd or not, she replied, "Wouldn't you like to know?"

To see the complete list of more than 300 Hollywood hopefuls, click here.

For more pop culture and for live Idol coverage, follow @HowardCohen on Twitter


February 01, 2012

Madonna to premiere new video on American Idol

Madonna_aGetty Images
American Idol's Season 11 audition shows have been tanking, quality-wise and ratings-wise, but Fox could experience a bump in viewership Thursday when the Fox show premieres the new Madonna video, Gimme All Your Luvin, during the broadcast.

The song is the first single from Madonna's forthcoming MDNA album and features appearances from Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

Fox has to hope this cross promotion can boost ratings as the series has dropped 27 percent in the 18-24 demo they covet. Madonna might not be the younger set's first choice but, really, who isn't at least a little curious to see what her new video looks like? I'll be watching and offering live commentary on Twitter @HowardCohen for the Thursday show.

January 25, 2012

American Idol auditions

Here's your playground, Idol Watchers, for more auditions. Can we all agree that this audition thing has grown stale and needs to be over?

January 22, 2012

American Idol Sunday broadcast

Fox plans to air a third episode of American Idol this week, tonight at 10 after the NFL game. 

Sunday's a busy TV night and I don't enjoy the audition shows so it won't be a priority. But if anyone wishes to post comments on what they see, have at it.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

January 19, 2012

American Idol Auditions: Pittsburgh

Thursday night televises auditions from Pittsburgh for another two hours. While you await tonight's slog, here's some more news from last night's Season 11 debut:
While ratings fell, social media postings on sites like Twitter, using the #Idol hashtag, spiked to impressive numbers.

And it turns out "Tent Girl" Amy Brumfield, (above, Fox/Idol) who had the requisite hard-luck story and, thankfully, somewhat decent vocals, has a past, ie, an arrest record according to TMZ research. Read here.

Meantime, follow me on Twitter @HowardCohen for live commentary, soon as I get back from assignment, and have fun in this playground, Idol Watchers.

American Idol hits low note in ratings war

Photo: Fox/American Idol

The King of Reality Competitions has fallen but still remains mightier than the rest.

The Season 11 premiere of American Idol, which introduced fans to a likely finalist in Philip Phillips Jr. (or Phillipx2 in Twitterspeak), drew 21.6 million total viewers and a 7.2 demo rating, dropping 18 percent in total viewers and 26 percent in the coveted 18-24 demo from last season's bow.

The numbers represent Idol's biggest between-seasons percentage decline ever.

Not surprising, of course. Idol is the senior on the block and few shows not named 60 Minutes boast ratings increases when they are this long in the tooth. South Florida DirecTV customers also had a WSVN blackout to contend with in the onging rate dispute. Plus, there is a glut of music programs on TV. People seem to have had enough if the rapidly declining ratings for scripted shows like Glee or the collective yawn that greeted the reality competition upstarts, the blatant Idol rehash X Factor and the silly The Voice, are an indication. 

But for all the gloaters in the The X Factor and The Voice camps, those retread shows still can't command half of Idol's viewership or impact in the music industry. The Voice winner's debut album came and went in a week's time, for instance. South Florida X Factor winner Melanie Amaro should release her debut some time this year. Will it achieve Idol Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery's crossover popularity at retail and radio? The Magic 8 Ball here says: outlook isn't favorable.

And despite a bloated two-hour audition show Wednesday, with yet another month of tiresome audition shows to come, including two more shows tonight and Sunday, Idol still is a more watchable enterprise, with more engaging judges, than its recent competitors. Perhaps a Season 12 quick fix might be to scrap all these audition shows and condense them into one two-hour broadcast, shorten the season and get to the finalist's competition that much sooner.

For more followhttp://twitter.com/HowardCohenon Twitter