Tuesday, October 5, 2010

American Idol Gives Back and the voters give Tim Urban the old heave-ho

On last night's Idol Gives Back Show, there were many wonderful moments and at least one sad moment for Tim Urban fans, of which I am one.
The show began with a message from President and First Lady Obama asking America to give generously to Idol Gives Back, and to help children and families in the United States, and around the world, to give others a chance at a healthy protective life.

President Obama ended his message saying to the Idol contestants. "As Randy always says, ya'll my dawgs."

I thought that was funny, and then Michelle Obama tells Simon not to be so mean.

Most of the guest entertainers performed on another stage, with Queen Latifah hosting. The crowd with Latifah was very enthusiastic and she had to holler over the crowd, and showed her excitement as well.

When the cameras came back to the Idol stage, Ryan Seacrest did his best to imitate that enthusiasm, and the audience seemed to enjoy that.

The seven American Idol contestants, joined by the last five contestants eliminated, performed "Keeping the Dream Alive", in keeping with the theme of last night's show. The vocals sounded good, but the lip-synching is not getting any better. I liked it when they sang live.

With the announcement that Elton John would be a guest on American Idol, I looked forward to seeing my all time favorite perform, as I have been a huge fan since 1970. Elton John came out in the last few minutes of the show, before Ryan revealed whom the voters booted off this week.

Before Elton John performed, other guests took the stage. In previous seasons, I complained periodically when certain contestants received fewer votes than others did. I used to love driving my kids crazy by saying that parents should keep their 12-year-olds off the speed-dial.

I also assumed that the majority of viewers, who actually voted, were under the age of 25. According to the Nielsen Ratings, American Idol has slipped in the ratings this year from previous years, but only by 3% for the 12-24 age group, as compared to viewership down 7% for adults 18-49.

With these numbers, I wonder why American Idol's jokes and some of the performers' songs choices did not seem geared toward the under 17 crowd.

I am not prude, but if they are going to try to reach out to the older crowd, the ones who would call and donate to Idol Gives Back, there are other ways to do that.

For example, the Black Eyed Peas perform a song called Rock Your Body. Something tells me the message of that song is slightly different from the Shake your Groove Thing disco song.

Although I do not particularly care for Alicia Key's voice or songs, I know the younger crowd likes her. I could have done without her hands rubbing her body as she sang, however.

Because I have heard monologues from Wanda Sykes in the past, and because I paused the DVR for a few minutes earlier, I fast forwarded through Sykes and did not hear a word she said, but I am sure it was not for the under 17 crowd.

The popular agenda on most network stations of late, seems to be Global Everything. Ryan interviewed Bill Gates on his idea to have Global Healthcare. That is curious to me because I think Bill Gates became the richest man in the world, due largely in part to money he made in the United States. I just wondered why he wants to turn us into a Global Nation, instead of what we currently have. This also has nothing to do with the premise of American Idol, a singing competition.

It is a noble cause that Idol Gives Back is collecting money from viewers for, and that I did not have a problem with, but pretty much everything else I did. Elton John performed in the last 10 minutes of the show.

The results portion of the show came in spurts, with Ryan announcing first that the voters put Aaron in the bottom three.

Then Ryan told Michael and Tim they were also in the bottom three.

After Elton John performed, Ryan then told Aaron he was safe. He then referenced last year's save, Matt Giraud, saying that he only lasted two weeks after the judges kept him from elimination.

I was disappointed last year when Matt went home. I thought he was one of the top three talented contestants of all of them last year. Ryan mentioned Matt to trick the viewers into thinking that Michael would be going home. He did not fool me because I knew that Tim's number had finally come up.

Ryan told Michael he beat the odds and told Tim he was going home.

It was no secret that the judges never liked Tim very much and only gave him decent critiques a couple of times. They have said the following to Tim, which are the kinder, gentler comments:

Some of the things they said to Tim in previous performances were:

Simon: the song is pointless and silly.

Kara: performed like a kid in a musical like Hairspray or High School Musical; why do you smile all the time. Do you not know what we are saying to you?

Randy: did not get it.

Ellen: muttered about Tim not being original and thought he could sing a little

Now that Tim is gone and the judges have not yet picked a second contestant to rail every week, who will be next? Siobhan has received some criticism in recent weeks that were completely opposite from the words of praise she received in earlier performances.

Therefore, I think Siobhan will be the judges' next target.

Overall, last night's show was a nice way for Americans to put some money into a good cause to help people. The entertainment was mediocre and a little mature, I thought, for American Idol, and Elton John did not get enough face time.

That, and the elimination of Tim, prompted me to be even more thrilled to see the advertisement for So You Think You Can Dance, scheduled to start after American Idol finishes out the season.
That is something to look forward to, for me.

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