Except for the fact that the Top 3 were incredibly talented singers, it’s been a pretty sorry season for American Idol.
So was I surprised when the show couldn’t even get the performance finale right?
Hardly. Just a little disappointed.
It’s always bugged me that over the course of the season, Idol can serve up bloated show after bloated show to fill a two-hour time slot on Wednesday night.
Then, when it comes time for the final performance show, when there would be every reason to milk the show for drama, it serves up a one-hour affair that often seems rushed.
Wednesday seemed more rushed than usual.
Instead of getting feedback after each song, like we’re used to, we got critiques from the judges at the end of each of the first two rounds. Even then, only half the judges got to talk. Randy and Mariah after round one. Nicki and Keith after round two.
And the judges spent so much time congratulating the contestants on making it so far (even though they were backstage at the time), that the actual performance critiques were pretty much glossed over.
In fact, Ryan had to force Keith and Nicki to tell him who they thought won round two.
Ah, but there was time for Carly Rae Jepsen to show up on stage and sing a Coca-Cola commercial. Or was it Pepsi?
I don’t know. I don’t care. I used her appearance as an excuse to take a bathroom break.
I mean, couldn’t that have waited until tomorrow night? We don’t have time to fully critique the most important performances of the season, but we have time for a guest appearance/commercial?
Look, after sitting through two-hour episodes all season, I would have no problem with sitting through a two-hour performance finale. At least as long as the focus was on the contestants.
Heck, take some time to reflect on how far they’ve come so the judges don’t feel compelled to do it. Give us some interview footage. Give them a chance to talk about the new single they sang on tonight’s show. Tell us more about how those songs came to be.
And here would be a novel idea — how about letting them sing full songs instead of 90-second soundbites of songs.
Idol did do one thing right Wednesday night. It flipped the order of the performances.
In the past, the new singles have been the final performance of the night. Occasionally that worked. More often than not, it didn’t make for a spectacular conclusion to the show.
Wednesday, they let Candice Glover and Kree Harrison close the night by repeating a song of their choice from earlier in the season.
They did so brilliantly, providing a dramatic end to what had been a rather frantic, less than special evening.
It’s just a shame that after 12 seasons, the singers had to salvage the show.