It was a long summer, fall and start of winter, but American Idol is back for their tenth season and I am ready! New judges, new contestants, and a new feature! Welcome to “Idol Wired”!
Alright, so my favorite reality show that drives me crazy on a weekly basis from this Wednesday through the end of May is back, and I came up with what changes that I would like to see this season as American Idol turns 10.
Keep the spotlight on the contestants
There have been shake-ups at the judges’ table since season eight, which have garnered much more attention than deserved. I think once the initial shock of the new faces at the judges’ table wears off this season, the show needs to adjust it’s attention back to it’s contestants.
I think one way to do this is to show more of the contestant’s personality in the pre-performance videos. Last season we learned that Lee DeWyze worked at a paint store. What we didn’t learn is that he’s fairly hilarious. Most fans learned this during the summer Idol tour meeting him before and after the shows.
I think over the past couple seasons, the audience really hasn’t been able to connect with the contestants, which is in part why last season wasn’t as successful as previous seasons.
Judges should be clear and concise with their post-performance critiques
I think the judge’s critiques on Idol should be like Twitter. You need to get out what you want to say about the contestant’s performance in 140 characters or less. I feel that the judges should be able to let the contestants know if they liked or disliked the performance with a reason backing their opinion in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, if the judges didn’t talk so much it could allow for slightly longer performances from the contestants.
No more lip-syncing during the group numbers
One of the things that bothered me during both seasons eight and nine of Idol was the very apparent lip-syncing during the group numbers. I know that a lot of the time they pre-tape the group performances before the live elimination, which means there really isn’t any excuse for not singing live. I don’t care if they have to auto-tune the crap out of the vocals, but singing live would be more legit than shooting a live music video.
Keep Idol Gives Back separate from the results show
I am all for Idol Gives Back. I think it’s such a great cause, but I know I wasn’t the only one last year that really just wanted to get to the results already. Two hours is a long time to find out who’s been eliminated, especially when all the additional musical guests on the show are fairly boring.
Idol did it right in season seven, and had the performance night, Idol Gives Back the next night, and then the results were the following night. I am all for not smashing one’s hopes and dreams, while bring awareness to great cause. Plus, having the results separate from IGB, allows the eliminated contestant to have a proper send-off.
Last season when Tim Urban was eliminated, he didn’t even get to sing his reprise. Granted no one was really surprised at his elimination, but I think every eliminated contestant deserves their chance to shine on the Idol stage that last time.
If Idol alumni are going to appear on the show, let them sing their own songs
I love it when Idol alumni return to the show to perform. I think that Idol is a great platform for Idol winners and former contestants to continually take advantage of while doing album promotion, because the audience is still there and wants to know what they are up to. Last season, some contestants, including Idol winners, were brought back to perform cover songs.
Season eight’s winner Kris Allen performed a cover of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” during the first results show of the season. Now I realize that the recording of the song was available on iTunes to benefit Idol Gives Back, but Kris’ single at the time, “Live Like We’re Dying was still climbing the charts. I really felt that they should have had him perform his single during the results show night, then brought him back to perform “Let It Be” during the IGB show, whether live or pre-taped. Along with Kris, David Cook, David Archuleta, Brooke White, Matt Giraud, and Scott MacIntyre all performed covers during season nine.
I love seeing some of my favorite Idols return to the show, but at the same time, I feel like they would benefit more if they were allowed to sing their current singles, or anything thing off their album. I get that Idol likes to tie their musical guests to each week’s theme, but my hope for this year is that they really support the talent that has come out of this show, and allow them to share their music with the Idol audience that maybe hasn’t heard it yet.
Alright Idol fans, if the power was in your hands, what changes would you like to see during the tenth season?
The season premiere of the tenth season of American Idol kicks off Wednesday, January 19 at 8 p.m. on FOX.
A big thank you to Heather Berg, who designed the Idol Wired banner.