Friday, February 18, 2011

Hollywood auditions: groups of a sort

I always struggle to see the sense of the American Idol 'Group Round'. All those hopeful people who have managed to impress the judges a couple of times on their own (although I could have sworn that the interesting Emma Henry was told it was the end of the road in Hollywood Pt 1 'the brief encounter' but she appeared again in Part 2). Now they're thrown into what appeared total chaos and find their futures highly subject to how things go with a bunch of others. The smart ones had already got themselves organised and had been working with some others they'd felt comfortable with but their plans got blown sky high when someone told them a different mix was required. So we watched them wandering around attempting to find someone who (a) wouldn't wreck their chances, (b) not worried that they'd wreck his or hers, (c) was happy with the type of stuff they had in mind and (d) the totally irrelevant matter of which day they did their previous audition on.

Whilst some sorted themselves out OK many didn't and I was amazed that there weren't more bleeps and tears as some pretty good talent was shown wandering hopelessly around trying to sell themselves to bunches of people already starting to practice all over again.

I guess the producers think it's 'good tv' but I think it's rubbish and, with one or two exceptions, doesn't help anyone much at all. It was satisfying to see the dreadful Tiffany Rios being ignored by everyone after announcing earlier that she 'had what all the others only thought they had', or something similarly rude and annoying. I'm pretty sure that that had sealed her fate anyway. She could sing, and did get support from  Jessica in the end who was either very kind or reckoned she'd look good in comparison and so stand a better chance than with the others she'd joined a few minutes before. Neither made it through. Wrong decision, Jessica.

Understandably, when you think of what's at stake, most stayed up until some crazy hour of the morning to try and get it right and looked suitably knackered when they appeared on the stage. Yes, there were a few remarkable performances and some did work really well together which, I suppose, shows some natural underlying talent that will make life easier when they have to do the group stuff in the live shows but, really, what is the point of some guy who has no interest in prancing around having to do that if his voice is so damn good that he could sell millions standing still? Or girl, for that matter? I don't recall Carrie Anderson particularly excelling at the rehearsed moves and men like Daughtry and David Cook looked really strange when they tried but brilliant when they stopped all that.

Fortunately, the judges took some, and in some cases, a great deal of, account of what they'd seen before and you got the impression that they weren't really judging any of the group stuff anyway, merely looking for that star quality and something special that whoever finally gets 50 million people dialling in a few months' time must have in spades.

I tried to keep up as names were put through or not and found myself finally writing some of the 100 invisible befores. I seem to have about 50 on the piece of paper. I was going to list them but later this evening I'll know which of those have reached the end of the road too and we saw so little of any individually that it's pointless trying to give you any names. Tonight's the night, really. Some very impressive people amongst them. It'll be very tough cutting them down to 20 or 24 or whatever the final number has been decided for the next round.

Should be a good programme after a couple of tedious ones.
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