Monday, April 30, 2007
Idol Gives Back
Just back from LA for a story and then Illinois for the Roger Ebert Film Festival. I just watched Idol Gives Back and it was just as cheesey and deliriously bad as I'd hoped for. The sing-along with the six finalists all in white was absolutely dreadful -- terrible, goopy song circa Q and given a terrible performance by them. That song will never be sung or heard from again. Jack Black was very funny, as always. Il Divo did what they do. But the cheese highlight was surely Josh Groban with a choir of little African children. ONe boy was missing two front teeth (if only this had been a Christmas special!) and so got lots of close-ups. Since Groban is singing about being lifted up he invariably sings this song while gazing up into the sky. But here of course he was surrounded by little children and Groban didn't know what to do --he looked up and then down and then up and then down. As a bonus, he looked like a giant, or at least a human surrounded by hobbits in the Lord of the Rings when they went to a wide shot. At the end, there was a brief pause and then the kids "spontaneously" gave Groban a group hug in the single most shamelessly staged moment of the night. The Elvis bit was fine, terrible, and frightening. It was fine as an amusing minor stunt and at least the song was a little different from the "inspiring" other numbers. it was terrible because they hyped it to death. It was NOT a piece of momentous TV history; just a silly stunt. But in fact it WAS a piece of TV history in a way. The technology is getting so good that in five years Elvis could probably be a guest star on CSI and fit in seamlessly, including all-new dialogue. Celebs will record a string of words and sounds that can be manipulated into almost any piece of dialogue and their digitial image will be available for work long after they're dead. Elvis performed on American Idol and that's the beginning of an inevitable trend. Kelly Clarkson gave one of the best performances of the night and she was NOT fat. I was expecting Mama Cass from what my idiotic brother said; she was a healthy, normal looking girl in an unflattering dress. It's thanks to people like him that so many young women have eating disorders. Finally, the emotional jerking around of Jordin -- like Elvis, it was hyped repeatedly as the most shocking Idol finale ever -- was terrible and mean and they should apologize. Two things: they've done that before (have no one go home) so it WASN'T the most shocking finale ever; also, the sympathy Jordin will presumably get won't hurt her one bit will it?