Randy Jackson And Simon Cowell

Sunday Snicker: Randy Jackson And Simon Cowell’s Midnight Rendezvous

Boy! Things are getting crazy with these reality shows. I just received this bit of news from TMZ.Com, so take from it what you will.

American Idol’s future is certainly a mystery, especially since Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced that they were no longer with the show.

Now good ‘ole Randy Jackson is wining and dining with X Factor creator and former American Idol judge, Simon Cowell. Now, there’s a fly in the Metamucil! What are those two crazy boys cooking up?

Better yet, what is going on with American Idol? I still love this show and hope beyond hope that Fox knows what they are doing during the renovation process. Right now, it’s all looking and sounding pretty scary.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

68 Responses to “Sunday Snicker: Randy Jackson And Simon Cowell’s Midnight Rendezvous”

  1. I think maybe they are just friends having the evening out.

    But of course you never know. Randy may be trying to get some pointers from Simon for his new position on the show as mentor instead of judge. After all, Simon did get one of his protégés to the win on “The X Factor USA” last year.

    I don’t know what they are cooking up but you can bet it’s for ratings. That’s all they care about. It’s not about the quality of the performers or the quality of the judging.

    I wonder what kind of advice Randy is going to be giving the contestants. “Yo Yo Yo Dawg. That was hot!!!!” isn’t going be enough in my opinion. LOL


  2. Idol is going to have to fill the judges table with YOUNG BLOOD. This is the only way to breath new life into the show and to stop the many complaints of the winners being WBWG…

    My picks would be:

    Adam Lambert
    Taylor Swift
    Bruno Mars


  3. Hey All,

    It’s all very interesting. I have been trying to follow this story just to see whats going on. If they get rid of Randy then I think after the next season it will be moving to a weekend time slot if it stays on at all. Once you build a show and you take away the ENTIRE foundation it was built in it generally begins to fall apart as its no longer what it was that made it successful.

    When it becomes anyones game and you can put any celebrity in to fill the space, it pretty much says its pretty nothing. They had Ellen in there …. I mean … really…a comedian? Every year Jennifer Lopez has been there she’s been threatening to leave. Adam Lambert, who I think is a fantastic entertainer …but he’s only had his celebrity status for a few years. I’m not sure that he could tell any amateur what they need to do to become a superstar in the business. His only real experience to becoming a star is making it as a finalist in an amateur contest where very few of its finalist achieve super stardom. In my opinion when you keep moving the cast around to any and everybody it cheapens the show. I still love it but I must say changes main stay spots like that I think will be its down fall. Once a show, any show, takes away all of its main players its longer the show it was. That whats happened to Star Search …. all of them. They start ‘feeling themselves” too much, forget about what initially brought the viewers there.

    I think if the show wants to at least stay where it is I think they should keep Randy. What I heard though was that, they may move him from judge to mentor. Not a good move to me but I think it’d be a much better move than just seeing him gone all together. Once Randy outs thats it. Idol started losing its ratings the season after Paula was gone. The old saying is “if it ain’t broke don;t fix it”. Idol may not have the ratings it had when its started but its the still the #1 prime time show of the spring. Start messing with it and I think it’s over

    The latest rumor is, Aretha Franklin has tweeted and says she’s very interested in being a judge. In my opinion I don;t think its gets any better than that. She’d bring many many years of experience and advice to amateurs. At her age she is still very much in the spotlight. Her resources are crazy wild. Still today she surrounds herself with many of the younger producers and musicians so she is very much in the know of whats going on today. And …After many changing trends in music she is still today a very much respected artist. Her critiques would outweigh, to me,any judges critiques that have ever been on that show.

    I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.


  4. Hey Vonnie – SO good to hear from you.

    Your post wasn’t in when I was typing but after I saw it … I thought … what would it be if it had the mix of an older opinion like Aretha’s there .. along with a fresher opinion of someone like Taylor Swift or Adam and then Randy, the mainstay there? Maybe it would mix it up a little bit (I don’t know). It might give it more of a balance. Instead of everybody just repeating what the other judge said. They’re talking about Mariah Carrie. I think Mariah just needs to stick to singing. She is phenomenal.

    Its all very interesting.


  5. Hey Brotherkarl,


    Could be a good mix…Aretha and Taylor! Aretha would definitely bring the knowledge, Taylor would bring the fresh face to the table…Adam would bring, been there done that.

    I think it would benefit having Adam for the contestants; he can relate, and maybe the fiasco with Hollie would not be repeated.

    Plus, they are going to have to dig deeper if they want a female winner…NO SOUNDS LIKE, Whitney, Mariah, yada yada. A female winner is going to have to have a Today’s sound, not an old sound. As much as I loved Elise, her Jazz sound was too old for this show, her rock sound, had she carried that through each week, could have been good for her.

    Randy could possibly be a better mentor than a judge…song selection is key; he could certainly point these kids in a better direction with their choices…he and Jimmy may make a good pairing for mentoring and telling it like it is!


  6. Okay – WordPress is really starting to get on my nerves here!! My own comment was deleted and I couldn’t retrieve it. Haha

    Anyway. Nice to see the discussion juices flowing. What I did mention is that American Idol needs to find judges similar to Howard Stern/Sharon Osbourne/Howie Mandel combo. Once they find this combo, they should be fine.

    Ryan Seacrest, for me, is the voice of Idol. If he was gone, it would be devastation city!

    Yet, BrotherKarl made some valid points re the inclusion of Randy Jackson in order to secure the viability of the show.


  7. Hey Vonnie

    I can see that. Plus I was just thinking … two things have got to happen here.

    #1 I think they have got to get someone on these shows who can really get these kids to the next level. So far they haven’t done it. They win and then they just fall off the map. So what advise have the former judges given that has been like magic for these kids.

    #2 If And then if they want better ratings … you are definetly right …. then they are going to have to bring a face that connects more with the younger people who do most of the voting.

    So I think we are on to something. Just rethinking now …While I’m still not convinced that Adam could give the kind of pointers that could help one get to super stardom but he definetly would know what critiques would work to bring the best out of contestant on the show (having been one himself). And that young audience …. Taylor Swift, oh yeah she would indeed be a face for that. Randy has managed and played for some of the greats. As long as he is very visible and vocal with hands on until the show gets a steady cast it would work (mentor or judge). But him not being there …to me .. it’d just be a “anybody can do this” show and if thats what it’s come to … then its pretty much finished in my opinion.


  8. Brotherkarl,

    I so agree, Randy needs to stay! That said…but away from the judges table, he knows what it takes to make it work past the idol stage, so I think his presence behind the scenes would be invaluable.

    Idol is definitely walking on a tight rope over the Grand Canyon with no net right now…choose the wrong people to fill empty seats at the judges table will be one thing but to fill them with all throwbacks or cheap wannabe’s, could mean the end of the show! They are going to need faces that are relevant. I do think Aretha would be a good choice along side of a Taylor Swift…

    Idol also needs someone who can market these kids, not just the winners…the kid from X-Factor, Chris Renee is doing really well, I hear him on the radio all the time, he just released a new single that is getting alot of airplay!

    MCL…you are so right…Ryan goes; Idol goes bye-bye!!!


  9. Brotherkarl…

    I also think Alicia Keys would be an AWESOME judge!!!


  10. What about a cross-over Broadway star or producer? Randy is not a fan of that genre, so not sure if he would be conducive to singers on Idol who demonstrated this specific performing ability.

    But, in my opinion, Broadway creates unique and innovative stars, focusing on their ability to sing, act, perform, move etc. And so many Idol alumni have found their calling on Broadway stage or screen – Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Constantine, Diana Degarmo, Katharine McPhee, Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, who did I miss?


  11. Taylor Hicks at the judges table…now I am all about that!!!

    That would be the thing MCL, if Randy were moved to a mentor position, he would not be involved in the selection of contestants, which may not be a bad thing…they choose to many who already sound like somebody, Jessica, Pia, and so on.

    I remember when Adam auditioned he was described as a polorizing Broadway type singer…well if he’s Broadway material, bring em on!!!


  12. Well since Rosanne wont consider it I will switch her out with Mary J Blige or Aretha. Either one of those two would be great. I think they would be dignified and direct in their comments. As far as comedians go, Howie is a comedian and he does a great job on AGT. Comedians are actually some of the smartest people you will meet. That’s where their quick wit comes from, their intellectual minds.

    I would love to see Jimmy Kimmel as a judge along with MJB or Aretha and Melinda Doolittle. That would be a great team in my opinion.

    I think as long as Ryan stays and continues to engage the judges the way he does the heart of the show will still exist. If only Ryan had known there would be a mass exodus when he was negotiating his contract he could have held out for a LOT more money…LOL No way they are letting him go.


  13. I like the Broadway idea too Rosanne. All it takes is one smash Broadway hit and your off to the races. Look at Jennifer Holliday. She has made millions off of one song, “And I Am Telling You,” and she still performs it with all the emotion and enthusiasm as she did when she was in character. You never know what is going to be a hit and Musical Theater is a great way to test market a lot of material before taking it main stream.

    David Archuleta’s version of ALW’s “Think of Me” is one of my favorites so I think they would serve themselves well by getting a Broadway star or producer as a judge.

    See Rosanne, you just have that incredible insight. You really should be on that judging panel all jokes aside!


  14. I’ve been thinking about the Broadway thing since it was mentioned earlier today …hmm …I don’t know. I think if Idol were to start featuring more contestants who sang that style a music … I think its current viewing audience would change in the same way that it did when it started featuring more country artist and rockers.At one time a country artist didn’t stand a chance (just like a Broadway performer has a hard time now). The country artist got in … It worked …. but the old audience went by by and then they got stuck for years with the guitar guy … because thats who the new audience wanted. And we all know how thats going now … nobody from any other genre gets that far. Thats where good talent like De Andre gets stuck. I think if they started bringing in more of the Broadway genre, the audience changes and when another De Andre come’s through, he’d have a worst chance then than he does now. Not because he’s not good, but because he wouldn’t be singing the style the new audience demands. Don’t get me wrong, I think it would work, just like the country change worked. The “Glee” thing is becoming pretty popular, so it would fit right in, but just remember, just like everybody is not into country and R & B … everybody is not into that style of music.
    As the song goes …”Don’t go changing”. Thats where I’m at on it.


  15. I haven’t had a chance to post lately but have followed most of your conversations, so maybe I can catch up a little bit on the whole Idol topic.

    I don’t see idol as being in a desperate position in regard to ratings. They are in a new market era with two major competitors and several minor ones so they are doing ok in light of the new realities and remain number one. Their target audience has only aged roughly one decade since Idol began, some have dropped off on the high end and some have come on in the younger demographic, but I will bet that the largest single viewer group is still older women.

    The problem they face is that too many people have seen that the Great Oz is just Nigel behind the curtain. Changing personnel will only have a minor, temporary effect on the show’s future success, just like the brief bump in good will they relieved when Steven and Jennifer came on board. You have to look at how the show works to really see the dilemma they are in. It’s a reality show. It can only be described as a singing competition in the loosest of terms. The judges aren’t incompetent; they just do what they are told to do. I believe that the winner, as well as at least the top twelve has been determined before we see the first show of the season. I also believe that our votes count; every last one of them. Those two ideas may at first seem to be at odds with each other, but not necessarily. The job of every member of the Idol staff is to lead us to the same conclusion that they have already made regarding who should stay, who should go, and who will win. There is about half a chance that we won’t vote for the designated winner, but I don’t think that has ever happened.

    The performers they pick as finalist are all chosen because they have a known level of appeal to the very predictable audience. They want singers who can reliably fill their time slot each week. That is why we have singers like Pia and Jessica, who were both outstanding, but lack the appeal to win. That is also why we had four contestants returning from last year in the top ten. They were a known quantity, both their good and bad qualities, and they could reliably fill their time slot with decent quality entertainment. They also like contestants to have obvious flaws that can be used against them when it is time for them to go. Like all reality shows, what they sell is controversy. It’s like the old political expression I don’t care what they say about me as long as they spell my name right.” If this were a straight up, fairly judged singing contest would we be talking about it today?

    I don’t think that Idol “the reality show” cares, from a musical or artistic standpoint, who wins. After all, “we” are to blame for who we choose as winner, not them. Sony gets to drag the worst entertainers in the business across the Idol stage every week and the contracts they sign with the kids are so one sided that there is very little to lose and potentially a lot to gain. Overall, the concert tour is probably about a break even proposition.

    When it comes to convincing the voters who the winner should be, Idol has many methods at their disposal to either help or sabotage a contestant. It’s not always clear which path they are taking because what appears to be sabotage is often helping the contestant. Among these tools are auditions, air time, “the edit,” whose group you are in for Hollywood and Vegas, make up, wardrobe, stage setting, SONG CHOICE, THEME WEEKS, musical arrangement, lighting, sound engineering, vocal coaching, advise of mentors and on and on… During most of the seasons of Idol the judges were the last line of defense for the Idol machine to make it’s case to the voters. Occasionally, Ryan will stick his hoe in as well. Now, Jimmy has been cast in the role of last line defender of the franchise, but it looks like that job may be up for grabs.

    To the current question of who should be on the panel of judges and serve in the on staff mentoring role, I say hmm. That depends on whether they intend to create an actual singing competition from scratch and have judges with integrity who are not just reading the company line or if they are just looking for fresh faces to put Nigel’s staff’s opinions into their own words.

    In that ideal world I believe that Kelly Clarkson is the only former Idol contestant with all of the qualities necessary and the credibility to be a judge. Her style and her past experience cover many of the genres that are in the usual mix of idol performances.

    I’ve never been a fan of the glamorous one, so I hope that the mention of his name was in true reality show tradition, just to create controversy. All forum conversations would revolve around him, like they did when he competed. It would free up some time for me though.

    I love Aretha, but I think she is too old and not in good enough health to carry out the responsibilities of the job and might have a hard time formulating concise sound bite advise in real time during a live broadcast. I would like to see her mentor on the show. She has a lot to offer.

    Melinda Doolittle is on my short list of all time favorite Idol contestants, is educated in vocal technique and has a lot of experience as a backing vocalist so she should be able to recognize and verbalize what singers are doing, either right or wrong. I’m not sure that she has the star power that they think they need for this job.

    I saw Taylor Hicks on some sort of dating show recently and he wasn’t very impressive in the live extemporaneous environment. Plus, he is among the Rodney Dangerfields of Idol winners, so I don’t think he would be well received.

    I like the suggestion of Taylor Swift. Singing may not be her strongest suit but she is a genius when it comes to show production as well as being a prolific song writer and a muti award winning performer in two genres. The main thing I like about her is that she makes a point of conducting herself in a respectable manor and presenting herself as a good role model for her young fans. She’s also articulate, sweet and kind as well as a very attractive young woman. Excellent choice if she could find room in her schedule for it. The down side is that she is the highest paid celebrity under 30, earning 72 million last year.

    I thought that Sara Bareilles did an outstanding job on “The Sing Off.” She is very knowledgeable about singing and like, Taylor, has done a lot fo song writing. She excels in covering older songs and making them her own. Which is just what the Idol doctors ordered. I love her voice and she is very comical when she speaks. Her down side is that she can be a little potty mouthed, to use her words.
    Jack White of the White Stripes would be an interesting choice if you want someone a little edgier. Singer, guitarist, producer and song writer and a pretty cool guy.

    If the show remains as it has been, I think they will have trouble getting people with integrity to fill the panel. That brings me to an observation about Steven Tyler. I wonder if his loss for words at times on the judging panel stems from what seem to be the obvious causes, and maybe it’s because, as an artist, he can’t go along with lying to some kid that has just sung his heart out. Ellen also seemed to have a hard time coming up with anything of value as a judge and neither of them are people who are normally at a loss for words.

    I think it’s time for Randy to go as well. If he took over in the roll of mentor / critic as like Jimmy this season, I think he would be a little too eager to speak the company line. I have defended Randy in the past because I know that he has actively helped some contestants from past seasons and that his credentials are pretty decent, but he has seemed too eager to become Simon, in his absence, for my taste.

    One of the best places to trim the Idol budget would be to eliminate the celebrity Judges audition rounds. The celebrities aren’t making those decisions anyway and it’s just another means of selling the designated top 10 to us. A shorter schedule for the judges might make the job more appealing to a broader group of candidates and could serve to reduce their salaries and travel expenses considerably. I want to see more of the actual contestants who are competing and less fluff and filler. To their credit, they have eliminated most of the delusional singers and clowns from the audition rounds in the last few seasons. A few additional rounds of live competition from the top 24 before any cuts were made would be a good thing.

    Even with their faults, Idol remains my favorite show of this genre. For me, X Factor has zero credibility after it’s first American season, The Voice lost a lot of it’s appeal in season 2 and ABC launched a decent summer replacement, but not a real competitor, in Duets. Idol should be very careful with any changes it makes and the jury is out as to whether it will emerge as a new singing competition or just season twelve of a reality show.


  16. BrotherKarl – I didn’t mean that the singers would have to sing mainly Broadway music and or be specifically from that genre. However, it would be nice to see that genre highlighted in one or two singers and/or a theme.

    However, someone skilled in Broadway production would be fantastic serving as a judge on this show. They know so much about the voice, performing, dance, production, instrumental arrangements that I feel that their input would be invaluable.

    And Broadway music attracts singers skilled in many genres. The musicals span every type of musical style – Rock Of Ages, Jesus Christ Superstar, Dream Girls, Porgy And Bess, All That Jazz, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Singing In The Rain. Etc. etc. etc.


  17. Taymaro – thanks for the nice words. I just love the Broadway genre so much and know how incredibly hard these performers work. Not just the performers – the coaches, producers, directors, set, costume and lighting design staff. It is a passionate and dedicated group of people who all strive for excellence.

    Gene – welcome back! Wonderful insight as always.


  18. Vonnie – as much as I love Taylor Hicks, I am not sure if this would work or not. Although, behind that laid back demeanor, is an astute artist and businessman. So maybe..??


  19. Gene, At first I thought “Wow, that was a long post” but then I started reading. I don’t think it could have been summed up in anything shorter or any better. You summed up all my thoughts about the matter. I have had most of those thoughts at one point or another but never all at the same time. Somehow they didn’t all fit together in the same mind frame but you put them all together like a big old jigsaw puzzle. They all fit now!!! Thanks!!! So Jimmy is the manipulator-in-chief?? Or would that be Nigel or Simon Fuller?? I heard he is on his way out as well. I actually think the show was much more transparent this year than in previous years. By that I mean you could see all of these things happening even though you couldn’t quite lay it all out in a discernible explanation. Steven Tyler, I think, was the key to that. He had a few gaffs that were very telling and we as an audience were able to read a lot in the subtext of what was being said, if you really paid attention, which was a result of poor production and planning. I just think that these three judges as a group lacked the ability (or will) to sell what the producers were brewing up in a convincing manner. I think that is the reason for Jimmy Iovine being there. He will stick to the script no matter who it hurts as long as he can line his own pockets. I always thought he was a little weasel and you just confirmed it by putting all the pieces together.

    You are spot on in all of those observations. These people are experts at manipulation. Television has been around too many years for them not to have all the information they need to know exactly how to make anyone in the public do exactly what they want them to do. It’s as simple as 1,2,3, and yet it’s very complicated at the same time. It’s hard to think that these 3 puppets that they put in front of us are there just to further the goal of the producers and while they appear very likable and friendly they are stabbing some of those young hopeful contestants in the back. My next question is; “Why do they choose the people that they do to win?” I know why they choose the losers but what qualities do they look for in the one who is chosen to win? I think I know but still not 100%.

    I look around on the stage and I see back up singers, dancers, musicians and all sorts of performers in every single production and I think to myself; “Why do they need these 12 individuals in the entertainment industry when they have such a large pool right there at their finger tips?” They could take any of those 100’s that are there week in and week out and turn them into stars and front people at the drop of a hat but yet they pretend to scour the country in search of the next mega star to hit the music industry. It’s laughable when you think about it.

    If you want to know what it’s really all about just read Gene’s post. I think he nailed it all. It’s kind of discouraging in a way. It sort of makes you want to tune out because you don’t want to admit that you are that gullible but at the same time it’s very interesting and you want to watch and participate. So what do we do? I think we all need to take a stand and stay very cynical and make sure to post what we are thinking in every forum available and make a concerted effort to keep these people honest and turn it into a REAL singing competition!!!!


  20. Hi Gene…

    Yeah! MCL, I’m not sure Taylor would even entertain the idea of Idol judge…they haven’t treated him very well over the years!!

    My question; who’s manning the ship since Steven and Jennifer have announced they aren’t coming back? I’m assuming they are already gone…chances are we already have new judges on the hush hush, huh?

    Brotherkarl…I wonder if they were to open the age up on idol, if the different genres would be more welcomed?

    It’s so good to be chatting with you guys again, I sure have missed you all…


  21. Vonnie – they are still in the cattle call stage of auditions. The celebrity judges’ auditions are not televised until the Fall. I think they know who the judges are and ironing out the final details. They are just milking the publicity.


  22. Rosanne:

    I see what you mean in regards to the Broadway thing … and coming from that point of view it’d be pretty cool to at least expose the audience to some different types. I was just thinking if the style of judging changes , the type of finalist would change, thus the audience would change … but I see where you are coming from.


    I’ve always liked the idea of widening the age range and I think having the more mature experienced voices there would definetly bring in a maturer audience. The only problem I think there’ll be is that the maturer audiences are not going to vote 1000 times like the kids with 2 and 3 phones plus online and all of that . I’d like to see a competition with contestants 23 may be and above. I think kids under 17 should be in a separate competition. I know there have been some phenomenal teens on the show. I just think they should be separate. Watching Elise and the other girl preform with this kids this year … it just seemed awkward. You may remember around the or 3rd year of Idol or so in the summer they had an Idol for older people and one for younger kids. I guess it didn’t work. I’m going to see if I can find some things about those shows. Things is …once they start doing all these changes then its a totally different show. I”d watch them except for the little ones.

    Hey Gene

    Really good hearing from you. I thought maybe you left the country for the summer or something. I thought I was the King of long post … but the crown and the throne belongs to you brother :-).

    You really threw some heavy thoughts out there. Its pretty obvious though and but its not a scam though. Its just the way its set up and people don’t just figure all that in. Even by the time all the auditions are over … I myself pretty much know myself who the top 12 will be. So if I know, and I’m not in the business, I’m sure they know ….and so they just start setting things up accordingly (the edits and that which you were talking about). I remember real early last season long before Jason won, they were interviewing his people in his town. You wouldn’t take a crew all the way there for someone who you knew wouldn’t make it through, so it’s pretty obvious. They’ve been doing this for a while now and they know what works for their show and what doesn’t. And I believe just like you said …every vote counts. Its my favorite show too Gene. Too many more cast changes though and I’ll probably move on (I almost did a couple of years ago). The Voice doesn’t do it for me …and X-Factor , the worst moment I ever saw on reality TV was was watching that little girl cry and fall out when she got eliminated. I will never forget that. And Duets … haven’t quite figured it totally out yet … but I have pegged the winner and like Idol, I’d be surprised if the winner were the best singer


  23. Gene

    I did and Opps and When I was speaking of Idol I meant to say …last season when Phil won . sorry. Man it really doesn’t take long to forget.


  24. Longevity…is going to be another factor in the survival of the show! This show has seen many seasons with what some would call minimal results from the winners! Combine this with all of the other singing shows cropping up; Steven and Jennifer may have bailed just in the nick of time…Randy and Ryan will ride the ship down I think!

    In order to breath new life into this show alot more would habe to happen other than rearranging the judges table…for me:

    1. Lose the save
    2. Go back to a 30 minute elimination show
    3. No more guest singers…only idol alumni
    4. Stop the silly themes…just let them sing something current already!!!
    5. Stop the elimination drama…we all know on top seven elimination night one of these poor kids is going to be asked to choose who’s the top three and/or who’s the bottom three…

    That’s all I got for now!! Oh! Less cameo shots of the judges table (is that the right word???)


  25. Vonnie-

    I’m probably 99% behind what you said …and in rethinking it I’d even say …that if they don;t get out now, they’ll be blamed for it. This show has been on for a long time, like you said. Even if it only lasted a couple more seasons …and went off …I don’t think it will be because of mistakes. No show, that I remember, of this nature has lasted as long as Idol. It is one of the most successful shows on TV. Every thing has a beginning and everything has an end.


  26. Hi Vonnie,
    It’s always good to see you here.

    Hi MCL.
    Thank you for the warm welcome. Regarding the question of Broadway performers participating on Idol, I believe they likely already do, in the background anyway. There are probably staffers that have Broadway backgrounds who are in choreography and other aspects of helping the contestants prepare their performances. There have always been a number of contestants with the style of a stage performer as well. I think the reason that Randy and other judges have drawn the distinction about some of the performances appearing to be “too Broadway for me” as he would say, is that people trained to work in that environment tend to over act and over sing because they are used to having to project there voice and movements without the aid of microphones or video. To my eye and ear they sometimes appear to be pageanty in the pop music / TV environment. The same can be said of the makeup styles of stage performers. It works for some when they make the transition to pop music and bring the stage experience with them. It was certainly one of Siobhan’s strong points. They might make it work on the judging panel, after all, no one knew who Kara or Simon was and very few knew Randy prior to Idol, so being a star to the general public in fly over country may not be a requirement. Maybe someone with that range of experience would be a good addition.


  27. Hey Taymaro,
    You know they have drugs for this condition that you and I have, right? If you see any of these people in your dreams or in random crowds, seek help, before it’s too late.

    I have typed similar “unified theories of Idol“ several times before and decided it was too involved to explain my position adequately and never posted them. This was sort of a Reader’s Digest version. I’m not trying to make anyone feel naive. I hope it doesn’t appear that way. It’s just my opinion and I could be wrong. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being for the designated winner either. I have watched every season and have continued to see these things and try to think that everyone has a shot at winning, just like everyone else here does. I think we all have similar thoughts and ideas about portions of the show at times but we don’t want it to be true, or we are sure that THIS season will be different. We all realize that it is a reality show but don’t see why that matters in the big scheme of things. That is the very reason why they mistreat Hollie or Haley of the Queen of judge abuse, Siobhan, and why they over praise contestants that may not be performing up to the level of some of the others. This is also one of the ways they motivate voters. Another method that I think they use a lot is for the judges, Ryan and now Jimmy to give the impression that the contest is much closer than it actually is.

    The one fact that I could never reconcile with what I was seeing was the fact that four of the premier sponsors in the world have stayed onboard with this show in spite of what so many fans refer to as incompetence. If all of the faults that we see were the result of incompetence or error I think they would have bailed a long time ago. AT&T, Ford, Coke and Pepsi can place their advertising dollars anywhere they want to, yet they feel SAFE in spending them with Idol. All of these shows have a control mechanism built in, with X Factor being the most obvious, looking back at it anyway. I think these sorts of systems are necessary to some extent, in order to sell the program to the network and, more importantly, the advertisers. If the contestants were all chosen on just the instincts of these three judges and if the public was fully responsible for making the choices that they put to public vote, they would run the risk potentially having a few months of terrible programming. The tighter economy may be partially responsible for, as you said, this extremely controlled season we have just seen. I have never seen them paint the choices so clearly before. I called it pairings at the time but there was another aspect to it that I never made a point of and that was the way they used the returning contestants in those pairings. Each of them was paired against someone with a similar style and each of them lost to the first year contestant. All of the familiar tools were used against this group and they worked well.

    “These people are experts at manipulation.”

    Thank you for saying that. I can’t tell you how many times I have said those exact words. If I were running for political office, the Idol team would be my first choice to manage my campaign! They are very good at what they do.
    I don’t know who the “Master Manipulator” is; probably Nigel. Simon Fuller probably designed the system and others have tweaked it all along. I think it is largely committee rule, but Nigel is always just out of camera view during the auditions and performances. You can see the judges look to him on occasion. I don’t think it’s Jimmy, although he has taken over the “final authority” role that Simon used to play. He has the benefit of hindsight going for him though and I don’t know if those are entirely his thoughts or just his copy of the company line, but I don’t think he is a dimwit as someone suggested here in the recent past. He’s the CEO of the largest label in the world after all. I think every member of the staff, and I mean everyone, turns in a report card on each kid throughout the process. From the limo driver, the makeup artist, the still photographer, the video operators, vocal coaches and music director, junior and senior producers, and even the maid at the Idol mansion would all fill out a brief report on their experience with the contestant. They can build a pretty good personality profile as well as assess all of their talents. Singing ability is part of the mix, but is not the largest part. In my opinion Idol has always been more than a singing competition but it should never be less than that. Any of the top four were of sound character and were performing at a level at least on par with the winner, yet they selected him to promote as the eventual winner. They know what percentage of the audience is motivated by different aspects of a performer’s whole package. Looks, sex, musical style, race, age, religion, ethnicity all play into it. Some believe regional origins of the contestant are a major factor but I know in my own case it’s rare for me to vote for the local contestant. The cute white guy is where the current two largest viewer groups find the most in common.

    I believe they are looking for the “All American Kid.” Karl gave a pretty good description of the qualities the winner will have several weeks ago. I can’t disagree with his assessment except to repeat what I said in the earlier post and that is that the Idol machine picked the winner and then sold them to us. I have also wondered why some of the staffers are not competitors, just as you said. The blond twins that were half of the backup singing group are a duet that are signed with Jimmy and are pretty good. You may recall they sang “Rolling in The Deep” with Halley as well as many other songs. I’ve always enjoyed watching their backup singers. The blond chic playing sax who I have nominated as an Idol swagger coach should be on a solo tour of small lounges across the world. I think it goes unnoticed sometime how much the staff contributes to some of the performances. IMHO, they are the second most powerful tool Idol has for controlling votes. If we ever see the day when the judges give honest critiques to every performer, we will probably also see more involvement from the whole production staff, band, backing vocalist, video, makeup, wardrobe etc to sell a contestant to the audience.

    You said: “or will”
    You mentioned Steven Tyler’s gaffs being a key to seeing behind the curtain. Paula made one a long time ago where you could tell her critique was of a performance that hadn’t taken place yet. That was pretty enlightening. I wonder if Steven isn’t getting a bad rap. He could be a burned out old rocker, as it appears, but maybe he can’t bring himself to stab fellow artist in the back and so he just mumbles something incoherently or says “it’s a beautiful thing. “Or will,” exactly. After all, he is a song writer and he never seems to be at a loose for words. J-Lo will tear up sometimes when they are treating someone unfairly, Paula did as well. Not to mention Ellen who seems to be very much into Idol performers and talks to them intelligently on her show. Giving a spontaneous critique isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Idol never has leaned heavily to the technical side.

    Let me say that I love American Idol in spite of its flaws and I keep hoping that it will live up to it’s potential one day. I don’t want anyone to lose their enjoyment of the show because of my words, although I can see how that could happen. My enjoyment of the show doesn’t come from picking the winner because my musical taste is out of the mainstream enough that I know my favorite won’t win. Some seasons there really isn’t anyone that suits my musical interest so I just pull for one who I feel like is an outstanding singer or has the whole package. I think MCL’s mission of evaluating the singers is just as valid as ever, no matter how the show is managed. We still get to see young people trying their best to deliver an Idol moment” and that’s always going to be good entertainment. It’s not fun watching the manipulations that go on throughout the system though. This season, as with every season since the first one, I will tune in, look for a few interesting singers, watch them and everyone else like a hawk, and hope that this is the year where the best singers are rewarded for their efforts. My girl will lose, again.


  28. Gene

    May be I’m just kind of nuts but I don’t see any of the things that you have said about Idol as … a negative or why it would disappoint anybody. You’re just letting everybody know how its run. Everything you have talked about is what has made their show successful. It may not go the way that all the viewers like it …. but it has worked for them. Plus it has kept us all tuned in year after year. I’ve had several businesses and I had to make decisions in them many times that my employees didn’t understand … decisons that ultimately caused the business to grow. Talent Shows have been around forever … but nobody has ever had a talent show as successful as Idol. If we were as smart as those folks were, we’d be there making the billions. They’re there. I’m not. From me …Kudos to that business ….they were successful at making people go crazy over nothing but a over blown talent show.


  29. Gene, What are the name of the drugs. I want to know. I feel like my condition (similar to yours) keeps me from enjoying a lot of things as much as I could. If the drugs can change that count me in…LOL In recent years I have even started viewing “The Wizzard of Oz” with a critical eye, so it’s funny that you used that analogy in your comment…LOL Someone help me!!!

    And I agree with you Karl. There is no negative from a business stand point. What ever they are doing, it works! I just hope that the contestant’s are willing participants and not clueless victims. I know that, at the end of the day, they gain exposure but sometimes that exposure can hurt them rather than help them. In fact, I think that it hurts them the majority of the time. Which do you think it is Karl….Gene?

    My only gripe is that I wish for just one season they would just let the thing play out without trying to sway people. Just let the performers do their numbers and then let us vote and may the one who gets the most votes win. I know it would probably be boring TV but it would be interesting to see what would happen. The drama may just happen on it’s own. How will they know if they never try?


  30. I can see where you guys are coming from…do you think this predestination of winners has ever back-fired; er, Adam and Chris…I think for all intent and purposes Adam was destined to be crowned, but Chris’ home town took them down. Because I do believe votes count, maybe not all of them mind you, but a large majority will override.

    Dag on it…now I’m never gonna be able to watch the Wizard of Oz again…LOL!!!!!!!


  31. [When I look back at all the typos and mistakes that I didn’t clear up before I pressed the “post comment” button, I am amazed that Rosanne doesn’t delete every post I make. Its awful. Got to do more proofreading before pressing that button]


    No … I don’t think it has ever back fired totally. Idol knows the audience they are shooting for and what that particular audience wants and the contestants are picked out for that audience. Trust … they are masters at what they do.


    I posted a response to your question but when press “post” it deleted, so here goes again.

    Do I think they are ..

    a.) willing participants b.) clueless victims c.) hurt most of the times

    I’ll say a & c. I can’t say “clueless victims” …and here’s why.

    Its just like all of those people who go to the store everyday and spend $100 on lottery tickets. Everybody that goes in, does so to win, yet they know that there’s a 99 to 1 chance that they will not, but they are SO hopeful. They still spend all that money everyday hoping, just like all the contestants give all they have to win. At at the end of the day however they are going to announce a winner and MOST of the people who entered ARE GOING TO BE HURT that its not them. Its the same way for the contestants on Idol. It can’t be avoided. Most of them are going to be disappointed and they are going to feel that in someway they have been cheated. People are going to tell them they have been … just like they say people are being cheated in the lottery. But they are not. Its just the way its set up. And the Great Oz” Well … I think we’d all rather believe in the Great Oz rather than know who’s really back there. Its makes it bigger than life to us. Knowing , however, doesn’t have to change anything, its just not as fun

    I heard Mariah Carrie say one time something to the tune of …” I didn’t have it easy like these kids on Idol who after a couple of days are standing before big shots and then 3 months later they have a national stage on TV singing before millions. Thats not how it is in the real world. Its not that easy”

    I get it. It really gets me when they’re voted off and they start crying or sometimes are even mad. They get the opportunity to picked out of thousands to be known and sing before millions and when they don’t win, they’re sad or mad as if they were treated unfairly. Its like winning a million dollars and being sad or mad because you didn’t win 10 million. Its unbelievable to me every time I see it. These kids get an opportunity in a few months that some people work 20 /30 years for . You and I both would like the opportunity just once to show our goods to the whole world, buts it never happened ..at least not for me. It has happened for them though. Thats a UNdisguised blessing! There should be no tears or anger. If they are unable to take that 15 minutes and take ALL of their good (above to their talent) and impress the heck out of those producers, judges and viewers to change their lives, then its no different to me then winning a million dollars and blowing it.

    If Idol has hurt them at all …to me its just in feeding into their own already false hopes.

    Do I feel sorry for them? No … I envy them. I look at it every season and every kid I see I think …wow!! that never happened for me. It probably hurts them but it could help them …depending on what they can do with it.


  32. Vonnie, Yes I think it backfired that season. You make a great point that kind of proves our theories. There was a big controversy over the Kris Allen win. What would motivate communities, corporations and state officials to go to the lengths they did to help Chris Allen win the competition? TPTB were so obviously pimping Adam that season that the Christian right were determined to not let Kris get shafted by the clever trickery of the American Idol production team. They conducted a state wide campaign which included advertising and handing out free cell phones at central locations where group training sessions were held teaching all the recipients of those cell phones how to send multiple text messages in a short period of time to get in as many as possible. Politicians used tax payer paid for air time to plead with people to vote for Kris Allen and used all of their connections around the country to get out the vote.

    As the producers had it planned the public would vote for Adam overwhelmingly because of the way they had manipulated things on the show. That season I just don’t think they could justify throwing out enough votes to overcome Kris’ votes. Either that or they knew there were too many people in powerful places out there who knew how many people voted for Kris and those people would put enough pressure on them that they would be forced to release the vote totals and prove that Adam got more. Either way I just don’t think they saw a way out and had to crown Kris that season.

    But they do have that clause on their website that says they can throw out votes as they see fit and it’s the AI producers that make that decision along with Telescope Inc.


  33. Hi Karl,
    I’m sorry for the delay in responding to your post. How have you been?

    I think that what I’m saying is a little more than just how the system works. I’m saying that for all intents and purposes, the only person with a real chance of winning is the chosen one. They know their voters and they know what qualities they will vote for and they spoon feed those aspects of the winner’s “package” to us. We have a choice who we will vote for but they have control of all the information we receive. That’s not a contest or a competition.


  34. Taymaro,
    “In recent years I have even started viewing “The Wizard of Oz” with a critical eye”

    Yeah, I don’t want to start anything, but I’m pretty sure that tornado wasn’t real.

    We kid.

    You ask if I thought the contestant were in on it or clueless victims. I think they believe that they are entering a contest where they will receive the same opportunities as all of the other contestants to give their best performances and that they will be judged fairly on the performances they give by a panel of experts. So, clueless victims would be my choice, in the context that you posed the question. You are not entirely a victim when you receive the benefits that they do but I don’t think the Idol staff said “Hollie, we see you as a fourth place finisher; we’re going to give you a hard time to make Phil look better, but you’ll come out ok in the end.” I think Hollie naively thought that they would treat her fairly. I don’t think they did. I only use her for an example, she isn’t the only one.

    I have entertained the notion that there may be “ringers” in the mix. This is not my official position; I’m just sharing my thought with you. I don’t mean ringer in the traditional sense of the word, but I see them as someone who gets a referral to the program from a local club owner or other music industry professional. They may not stand in line all day like everyone else. They may be more experienced than the average contestant. They may have a planned expiration date. They carry the show, or help lift some of the “real contestants” for a period of time and are eliminated. They are not allowed to win. They don’t have to be great, just above average. It could be everyone that we ever liked who didn’t win!

    The up shoot of having the Idol experience on your resume is a coin toss. I believe that if you look at all top 12 contestants, from all seasons, more will have been helped than hurt by their Idol experience.

    Votes received for American Idol contestants are confidential. My personal view is that Adam’s loss to Kris was as legit as any other season. Adam’s fans invented power voting, so they upset that they were out cheated? Just guessing, the all American boy in tee shirt with guitar will out poll someone fitting Adam’s general description anywhere in the US. Localities across America support their hometown hero’s, at tax payer expense, when they are on Idol. Taylor Hicks, and Ruben Studard are from my hometown, Bo was from just up the road. They all received the big local campaign. That contest may have been one of those where they created the perception that the numbers were tighter than they actually were leading up to the finale. I was surprised by the outcome at first, like everyone else, but not so much after I thought about it. If the state of Arkansas can single handedly control the outcome of the vote then what does that say about Adam being a shoe in? If they have done their job during the season, there will always be a comfortable margin between first and second place.
    Personally, I don’t care how they get their contestants but I would prefer to see an actual competition with fair judging. The Dancing with the Stars method works for me. Constructive criticism delivered in an entertaining manor and coupled with a numeric score. You can see the judges have some bias in their remarks but it’s about as fair and open as you can get. It would be nice if they would de-emphasis the judges but (a) they are too important to the system and (b) the decision makers seem to believe that the popularity of the show comes from the star power of the judges.


  35. Hi Vonnie,
    I was looking at your list of changes and agree that the show would be better with those changes made but it highlights why I posted my Unified Theory of Idol at this time. If the show works like I think it does then they can’t do most of these things or they will give up some of the most powerful tools in their box.

    Lose the save

    The save is the last chance the Idol machine has to correct a failure on the part of the voters to do what they were supposed to. It is also an important element for the reality show side of the coin because it ads drama and controversy. I’m with you, there is no place for it in a fair competition unless there was a serious malfunction in the voting system.

    Go back to a 30 minute elimination show. No more guest singers…only idol alumni

    I think that the main reason Sony Interscope and their associated labels participate is for publicity and gained stature with the record buying public. The payback for the mentoring and studio time they offer to Idol is that they get to showcase their stars (?) before the largest audience on TV. They may care a little bit more than Idol does who wins, but I don’t think it matters a lot to them either. On the bright side, two years back we began to see more Idol alumni on Thursday night and last year they were on every week and they always performed in the pimp spot on the bill. That is progress and I think it came as a direct result of the survey they took about the time Nigel returned.

    Stop the silly themes…just let them sing something current already!!!

    I’m mixed on the themes. I like some of them but they can also be used against people who they want to eliminate and in favor of the chosen. Some of the top ten never got to sing anything that represented who they were as an artist, or very little anyway. This year the themes were much broader than in the past, another improvement but I guess it is one of those areas where Idol needs to define itself. The most versatile singer may not be the most unique. If you are looking for unique, don’t give a test that favors versatility. The other side of that coin is that we have seen some remarkable performances when the kids had to sing songs outside of their comfort zone. I didn’t like the theme this season where the girls had to sing Whitney and the guys had to sing Stevie. They should have allowed all of them to choose between the two.

    Stop the elimination drama…we all know on top seven elimination night one of these poor kids is going to be asked to choose who’s the top three and/or who’s the bottom three.

    I believe they can let that one go with no problem.


  36. Karl, Vonnie, or anyone else interested,

    How about “Duets?”
    Still watching? What do you think of it? Who wins the first season?


  37. Hey Gene ;

    Unless I’m missing something. I think we are very close in our opinions on this.

    You are very right. The only one that stands a chance of winning IS the chosen one. Thats how its set up. Its set up to pick who they want. Thats why the show is involved in the initial picking and not the viewers. I believe that they find that person or those persons, make sure they go to the finals and then start gearing the show to make sure those persons go further (using all those things you talked about). I also think that if they misjudge and see a bigger star in one person rising up, than in one who they originally pegged …the shows focuses (or edits as u call them) would change if they wanted it to.To me its all part of how its set up. It would only make sense to do those things to keep the show moving at a certain rate. A contestant definitely would need a lot more than just a nice voice to influence any of that. I think if someone really really wanted to take that challenge and guarantee themselves a win… before they even auditioned, they’d need to know a lot about the Idol audience, what turns that particular audience on and then they’y have to be that. They’d have to know what the producers were looking for and have a personality that those judging would fall in love with. Thats the only game that I think a contestant can play to guarantee a win

    Here’s the part where I think you and I disagree on: I DO think its a competition. I just think that by the time the voting starts the competition is actually over. The actual competition starts when they’re out there in those lines where they should be out there impressing everybody who may be anybody. Thats where they start doing those stories. I think once the voting starts the only competition is … Idol against the viewers. Idol already knows who they are going to work behind and the viewers already know who they are going to stand behind and may the best man (between those two win). Can the viewers win? Yeah …it just not likely. How good are or how well a contestant performs at that point doesn’t matter for a win) as I’ve said many times here before. All a contestant needs to do at that point is give their fan base their best (voice, personality and all) so when its all over they’ll still have that base whether they win or not. Thats the only reason giving the greatest performance is vital at that point. The person who’s a true super star won’t make it because they won a televised contest among amateurs. They will make it because they already have ALL that it takes to become a star

    Are we being deceived? I don;t think so. The judges, Ryan all of them when they are out doing interviews always talk about how the story lines and some of these facets help in determining who the winner will be. They have never been secretive about that. To me everything is as clear as day. I don’t see anybody being tricked like people think. The only people who are being deceived are the naive and those who are not paying close attention and don’t want to see. Everybody in Emerald City knew there was something in the room that made the Great Oz who he was but Dorothy and crew were the only ones brave enough to approach.


  38. And to think…I thought I was being so insightful picking the winner a couple of times, and winning Gene’s “Confetti Bath Award”…When in reality I’m just an Idol TOOL…Oh! THE HORROR, THE HORROR! and they were such a nice little show too!! OH! MELTING! MELTING!

    Such Drama… 😉

    Gene, Nah! Gave up on Duets…my evenings are used up right now!!! That needs to be a fall show…


  39. Gene.

    It really been in the triple digits here. Too hot !! So I’m trying not to go out.

    Yeah … When you mentioned it earlier, I responded saying that I was a big fan and a regular blogger about Duets.

    While its pretty obvious who the best singer is on there…. I think everybody is going to be surprised, like always, on how it goes down (they are already surprised) including the judges as its played a little different than Idol. I just hope everybody doesn’t start screaming scam. Folks just have to learn …how these games are played.

    This is the big week….Looking forwards.


  40. Regarding Duets:
    For me it has been a breath of fresh air. I see it as a summer replacement for the larger singing reality shows. It is pretty un-pretentious. They don’t seem to be looking for the next superstar singer, cleanest cut boy in America, Miss America or anything in particular. I don’t have an investment in any of the contestants and most of them seem like they are actually armatures who are growin’ or goin’ home.

    The judge’s panel has done a very nice job. Most of the time they offer useful, constructive criticism, along with a healthy dose of encouragement. They seem to get along well and have a light hearted comic relationship without the judges dominating the show. That’s a nice balancing act given the fact that they perform on the show as well. Each contestant receives exactly the same amount of exposure.

    My favorite part is the free superstar concert in every box. Who doesn’t like Kelly Clarkson? Her duet with John legend last week was outstanding. Jennifer has carried the show in a powerful way. I have always wanted to hear her sing in a more traditional fashion than she does commercially. She has only marketed one song that I like with Sugarland but I have heard her do a few other things that I liked. I’m more interested in john Legend than I was previously. He has been a good judge and mentored well. Robin Thicke is ok as a judge; less so as a mentor.

    I think J-Rome is the most “ready for primetime player” in the group. He will come second.
    I think the judges have begun to turn on the puddin’ dumplin.’ Will his fans rally because of it? No, he comes third.
    The winner is Kelly’s kid, what is it Jason? How ironic.
    The host Quddus has done an outstanding job. He hasn’t missed a beat all season. He is a little bit “up tempo” but in comparison to the first season of the Voice or X Factor, there is no comparison.

    They have a few things to smooth out if they come back next season, like the judges voting system or adding a little more substance to the show. I hope they keep their own slot in the season and don’t try to compete directly with the larger shows.


  41. Hey Gene;

    We’re on the same page as far as Duets. I love it. Its a whole lot quieter than X-Factor. Toned down a bit. Robin Thick is probably my least favorite mentor. And Kelly is my favorite. She seems to be more engaged in the whole process then them all. Never heard of Jennifer Nettles prior to the show ….I’m now a fan of both her and John Legend.
    Also kind of anxious to find out why Johns original pick really dropped out

    Excited about seeing how the its going to turn out


  42. “And to think…I thought I was being so insightful picking the winner a couple of times, and winning Gene’s “Confetti Bath Award”…When in reality I’m just an Idol TOOL…Oh! THE HORROR, THE HORROR! and they were such a nice little show too!! OH! MELTING! MELTING!”

    I went to a lot of trouble (any time I’m typing it’s trouble and if I’m typing a lot, then it’s a lot of trouble) to say that I wasn’t suggesting that anyone was foolish, or naive or a tool or anything of the kind for liking and supporting any contestant on Idol. You do have to have a knack for picking which of the featured contestants is “the one,” and you have that knack. Your confetti bath was well deserved.


  43. To Vonnie

    Melting??? Did somebody already throw water on you? You just came back!! 🙂


  44. Oh! Gene…I am such a mindless wonder watching tv, I am the most gullible viewer idol has; they need me watching their show…I CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!

    Are you kidding me, I love my “Confetti Bath Awards”, it takes alot of telepathic manipulation for me to pick those winners!!! I have all of my awards framed and on my wall 😉


    Giggles…that was my acting audition; did you like how I went from dramtic to serene in one short sentence??? 🙂

    Just kidding guys I do agree with you, sad but true, but hey, it gives us something to chat about…we may need witness protection for you three since you are on to them????????


  45. Oh! No! I musta been to late on the witness protection idea…TPTB musta already got you guys!!!


  46. … – – – … – – – … – – -…


  47. Gene, my friend, I wish that I could help you out…I slept through Morse Code classes!

    Tell brotherkarl and taymaro hi for me…please tell me they didn’t get MCL too!!


  48. 1st Clue. Sting, The Police, Song title, The 80’s.

    I’m afraid they got Taymaro, Karl was hiding in the Duets audience last time I saw him. They have a novel new concept, fair judges and the obvious best singer wins! They will never think to look for him there. MCL may be hiding with the grandkids. Mums the word.


  49. Haha! That would be a novel concept! Imagine, a fair show, choosing a top 24 that each one of them could be a potential winner instead of stacking the deck so that the ” chosen one” is guaranteed the win, and judges who aren’t reading rehearsal fill-ins notes!!! Only in the land of Oz!!!

    Still working on that clue 🙂


  50. The song “Message in a Bottle,” by the Police, featuring Sting. I should have said lyric, not title. “Sending you an SOS.” So my Morse code is SOS repeated; the international distress signal.

    I enjoyed “Duets” for what it was and I think they got a lot of things right that Idol has serious problems with. On the other hand, it’s not a serious competitor, at this level of development anyway, for any of the larger shows. I think all of the mentor/ judges walk away winners as well as the host, who we could easily see on awards shows or hosting a competing “kinda sorta singing competition show.”

    I think Idol has a dilemma with what level of star power they put on the panel this year. If they are big stars then the show will trend more and more toward being all about them and if they lack big star power, even though they may be better judges, it may send the signal that the show is coming to an end.

    Have you seen Nigel’s new show on “E”? It’s called opening act. He is on the show as well as Martina McBride and a panel of music industry folks. It’s not very good.


  51. Lol, never would have gotten that one…did I mention I am really bad at guessing clues? When my so was smaller and we would travel he liked to play twenty questions, are you kidding me, they shoulda called it a hundred questions that Vonnie is never going to figure out!!!

    I didn’t know there was yet another singing show, geesh! When will the maddness end, lol. No good huh? Maybe that’s why I didn’t know it was on!

    I’m not watching anything reality wise right now, working at the house in the evenings…and believe me that’s a reality show within its self!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


  52. I figured it would be cake for a fan of ‘80s music like you. The way I see the ‘80s is that the quality of the music declined so much that radio stations were dropping like flies. That in turn spawned, the death of local music programming, they all use national feeds now, talk radio, look how big that has become, and classic rock stations, to replace what people were missing from the newer music. It’s not all bad though. Cyndi Lauper has a great classic blues album, “Memphis Blues”, and John Bon Jovi might be another good choice for the Idol panel. He and Jennifer Nettles have worked well in the past and would both be good on Idol’s panel, except that she is pregnant. It might have worked for her next year but the job will likely be filled.

    Nigel did another show last year called “Nashville Star.” He does these shows in conjunction with his son. It was better than his current effort, but I get the impression that he tries out ideas for his larger shows on this off season filler shows.

    I meant to ask you in my last post how your house was coming along but I forgot, so I will do it now. How is your new house coming along?


  53. Gene…Yep, I was a product of the 80’s, my music taste was a little of the offbeat path though, Cyndi Lauper and Prince were staples, along with Van Halen (David Lee Roth, please), Huey Lewis, The Thompson Twins, OMD , Aha, Corey Hart, The Pet Shop Boys, etc., wasn’t a huge Sting fan!!! Totally liked the more punk side to the 80’s, but must say, loved Genesis!!!!!!!!! Wish my memory would serve me a little better, but alas it fails me again, I will try to dig a little deeper with some artists that I liked from the 80’s musical rampage!!!! The 90’s and since has no appeal to me, really wish someone would re-invent the music wheel.

    The house is coming along nicely…you know that reality show I was speaking of, come watch us work for an afternoon! There needs to be a manual handed about with construction permits, “How to avoid Divorce Court while building a house”. The battle of who wears the pants and who wears them better!


  54. Well,I was hiding out in the Duet’s audience but I got out and I’m alive!! Halleluyah!! 🙂

    I really like that show!! On Duet’s the best singer does win and the viewers votes mimic the judges choice. No funny business there, Its pretty cut and dry.

    Vonnie – When a person starts stepping away from Reality TV……. they’re standing on real shakey grounds. SO LOOK OUT !!


  55. Lol, brotherkarl…Oh! But we are watching reality tv…American Pickers!!! I remain comotose after back to back episodes!

    So glad you escaped!!!


  56. Blah!!! See it’s even messing with my spelling…!


  57. Karl,
    Sorry man, didn’t mean to out ya… from the Duets audience. 🙂
    I’ve read a few comments from viewers around the web, most of whom watch the other music reality shows as well, and they seem determined to kill this baby in the cradle. Obviously the show needs development if it wants to compete with the larger shows directly, but as an off season niche program a little fine tuning would go a long way. I didn’t over expect and was rewarded nicely for my (lack of) effort. I’m glad you enjoyed it too.


  58. Vonnie,
    I love American Pickers. I want to see their new place in Nashville next time we’re there.

    I’m bettin’ the pants look better on you, but we men have sensitive egos. The trick is to be in charge without appearing to be. Many years ago when I told my wife that I was planning on tearing most of the back off of our first house she said “cool, sounds like a good idea”. She never questioned whether I knew what I was doing or not. That vote of confidence went a long way.

    I listened to some Van Halen, Genesis, and Huey Lewis, as you did in the ‘80s, and several others like Bonnie Raitt, Steely Dan, Dire Straits, Yes, B-52s. I saw Cyndi Lauper as sort of a novelty act at the time, same with Gwen Stefani. Both had a few good songs but I didn’t think they had any staying power. The first time that I saw Cyndi in a different, more favorable light was when she and Allison Iraheta did “Time After Time” together on the Idol finale. That is still one of my all time favorite Idol moments. Most of the new music I listened to in that period was from acts that were still around from prior decades. The 80’s were a major letdown for those of us who were into music in the ‘50s, 60s and 70s. There was such a flood of good music in that era that it’s hard to compare other eras to that period. I like music from the 40’s and some from the 30’s too. I spent more time in the 80’s digging back to learn more about what had come before my time than listening to current music of the time. I think anyone involved in the music business in anyway should do the same thing. Everything old is new again.

    Be careful Vonnie. As a former “tool” they may not let you go easily. The spelling thing is just the beginning. Perception is reality ya know, or so “they” say.


  59. Gene,

    Lol, our pants altercations are mainly over his short cuts and his not being very design savy, other than that all is well…!!! His idea of what goes together is beyond me! But, he is doing an awesome job building the house, just not at picking out things!

    Yeah! My music taste in the 80’s was a little askew. My ear loves the British, Austrian, etc. Singers, I loved any thing by George Michael and still get that girly nostalgia when I hear him on the radio.

    My new group is Gotye, I think he is from Belgium, or Austria…he sings “Somebody that I used to know” look it up on youtube if you get a chance, that is my flavor of music!!!

    Any news yet on Randy…he was supposed to be on the View the other day, but I refuse to watch that show!!!


  60. “Any news yet on Randy…”

    I haven’t seen anything else about him. I think that Karl made a good point about continuity on the show but I can envision so many combinations of judges that don’t include him that I’m willing to risk betting everything on a new panel. It would be extremely easy and more economical to build a panel from people who have a track record in this job already, whether from being a guest judge or mentor on Idol or from judging on one of the similar programs. Idol could gain points by saying we enjoyed our superstar era but we want to move back in the direction of people with a proven track record as a contest judge. Randy could serve another season in an unseen position as an advisor to the judging staff to help them get oriented, or not at all. I’m mixed about him in the mentor role. When he is sincere about helping a kid he is good, otherwise there is a lot of power in the mentors hands to harm a contestant. I’ve always felt that Gwen Stefani plays the role of a Judas goat when she is on the show.

    “he was supposed to be on the View the other day, but I refuse to watch that show!!!”

    God love ya!


  61. Gene,

    Lol, ’em ladies has got some issues!!!

    Thought of a couple more artists that I listened to, Brian Adams (he was probably one of the best concerts that I attended), the Boss Bruce, Gun’s n Roses, an on/off relationship with Billy Joel, 38 special, Chicago, Don Henly, Boston, Jefferson Starship, Eagles, Laura Brannigan, Stevie Nicks, Eurythmics, Bonnie Tyler, gosh! Wish I could remember!!!

    I do have an eclectic taste in music!!! You mentioned the b-52’s, the only song that I am familiar with that they sang was red, red wine…my brother loved that song and when it would come on the radio no matter where we were, what we were doing, he would stop eveything and commence to dance, now mind you, his dancing was a mix of flat footing and some bizarre arm flailing thing…funny!!! When I hear that song now, I can picture my brother dancing…sweet memory!

    I like music from the 40’s and 50’s too…I think Buddy Holly has the best voice of all time, with Roy Orboson running a close second. There is another guy from the fifties that sounds alot like Buddy, but Ican never remember his name, also love Eddie and the cruisers.

    Dean Martin is my favorite crooner, along with Bing Crosby’s White Christmas…love Louis Armstrong and Jimmy Durante, Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday.

    I will go back to the thinking block…


  62. Nope, scratch that…it was UB40 not the B52’s! Got to thinkin’ bout that and for once my memory served me before I embarrased myself! 🙂


  63. Gene…I am a mess..Eddie and the Cruisers SOUNDTRACK, yeah! John Cafferty(?) Spelling not sure!!!


  64. John Fogerty or Jerry Raferty? I may have mis-spelled too.


  65. No John Cafferty…he sings On the Dark Side….from the movie Eddie and the Cruisers, that song has stayed on charts and is still spun today!


  66. I don’t know him, but I seldom listen to the radio. Most of the folks you have mentioned in the second group are in note really in the category of ‘80s music, but rather survivors from an earlier era.

    The B52s are best known for the song “Love Shack.” I saw them recently on an awards show singing with Sugarland. I’m glad the mention of them brought you a fond memory of your brother, even if it turned out to be the wrong band. It sounds like he was from the Elaine Benes (Seinfeld) school of dancing.

    Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison are among my all time favorites. Their influence on music as well as, oddly enough, fashion continues to this day. I get tickled when someone wearing a thin tie and black plastic framed glasses, or a square tailed bowling shirt, or Ray-Bans tells me they are tired of the old music on Idol. One of the best performances of this Idol season was a Buddy Holly song performed by DeAndre, Holie and a girl name Candice (who got screwed) during Vegas week. The kids have said in interviews that they didn’t know what they would do with this old song but apparently the vocal coach and whoever they were working with from the music director’s staff helped them find a direction to go with it. All three gave an outstanding performance of an old song that we should throw overboard for more Gaga. No thanks.
    One of the best concerts that you will see on video or re-run during PBS fund raising drives is 1988 concert called a “Roy Orbison and Friends – Black and White Night.” There are individual songs from it on You Tube and the audio is available on CD or download. It was an all star tribute to Roy Orbison with Roy performing every song that you have ever heard of his, backed by the band that toured with Elvis in his last decade or so. He sounded as good as he did in his hay day, yet he died about a year after this performance. The whole program is in black and white with everyone dressed appropriately for the event. The backing vocalist, some of whom played guitar as well were Bruce Springsteen who I like in special appearances like this but not much otherwise, Jackson Brown, Andrew Gold, JD Souther, Elvis Costello, Randy Neumann, John Waits, T-Bone Burnett, James Burton and Lyle Lovett in the band with Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, and K D Lang, as the pips style backup singers. Roy also was part of the all star group “ The Traveling Wilburys” during the 80s, so the decade wasn’t a total loss. Here is one of the songs from the concert with nice harp work from Roy and Elvis Costello.


  67. Gene,

    That’s why I said my music taste was more offbeat than the 80’s rampage…I pretty much listened to whatever, the sounds coming out of my radio in the 80’s pleased my ears, some of the sounds from the 70’s didn’t so much please my ears, the hubby still listens to the 70’s music and will not budge.

    I love music and can pretty much listen to anything, some things I like better than others but can usually tolerate anything…except CCR, can’t stand to hear that group sing!!! Love Nitty Gritty Dirt band, Mr. Bojangles!

    My taste is very eclectic…I will try and do some research on the 80’s and give you a better idea of who I listened to, I can be driving down the road and a song will come on and I’m like oh! Wow, I used to love that song, but then usually by three songs later it is once again a distant memory. We have a radio station in our area that plays 80’s through now music, it’s pretty awesome!

    I had heard one time that Roy had written Pretty Woman with the hopes that Elvis would sing it, but Elvis turned it down, so Roy decided to sing it, and that is took him from writer to singer, I heard that he didn’t think he sang very well….???

    Of my 50’s and 60’s music, I like the Drifters…There goes my Baby, that’s my all time fav song. This era would take some digging back!


  68. Gene,



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