A Grudging Affection

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First, let me say that I’m not a fan of TV’s “reality programs” in general.  Most strike me as artifice rather than reality at best and just plain pointless at worst.  So The Bachelor, Survivor and Big Brother hold no allure.  I will admit a mild fondness for some of those house hunting adventures, especially when the buyers or the locations are just a little quirky.  And I do like some of the programs which are based on musical competition… not because I like the competition aspect so much but because I like the musical talent.  A few months ago (around Christmas) I quite enjoyed watching a British choral competition in which the choir members were assembled ad hoc from various employee groups (firefighters, financial institution, department store etc.).  The repertoire chosen for them included pop, gospel and classical selections.  Under the guidance of conductor Gareth Malone, The Choir: Sing While You Work became required viewing for us during the holiday season.

the choir

I’ve already alluded in earlier posts to my fondness for the a cappella groups featured on The Sing Off.  And, now as the show draws to an end, I must confess that I even have (grudgingly) developed some affection for American Idol.  I successfully avoided the first few seasons of the show during the tenure of the always irritating Simon Cowell.  Even when I began watching, I reserved my viewing for those episodes which featured ten (and fewer) competitors.  By that juncture in each season I could presume the singers competent and the episodes finite.  Maybe because this was (repeatedly) announced as the show’s final season, I opted to watch all episodes from first audition to finale.  And that brings us to today.  Tonight will be the final episode of the season and the series.  One advantage of watching all the episodes is that early guesses as to finalists are validated.  I thought (and I wasn’t alone) when I first heard Trent Harmon and La’Porsha Renae in audition and early competition that I would be seeing them face off as finalists for the title.  And, frankly, they are so gifted that the selection of either is both warranted and unfair.  Warranted because each possesses the talent to succeed in the music business.    Unfair because to exclude either from the “coronation” is purely arbitrary.  I do recall, however, that some of the most successful of the Idol alumni were not the competition’s ultimate winners.  So… we’ll see how the evening unfolds and how “America voted”.  Just in case you’ve missed them in performance, here’s a quick taste…(these songs were chosen for the two by the show’s creator, Simon Fuller)…

Lest all the sentiment overflowing this evening makes you wonder how the world can exist without American Idol, I would direct you to a recent interview with Simon Fuller

“The next generation of Idol — and Idol will certainly be coming back for sure — will have a youthful glow, and it will be pioneering again, just as it was when we first began,” creator Simon Fuller told The Hollywood Reporter.

(Monday, April 4, 2016)

So farewell American Idol… see ya’ again soon…

An inevitable postscript…

I suppose that leaving the actual competition unresolved is unfair… here’s the result…

As a pleasant aside to this news, La’Porsha has also (according to Billboard) been awarded a recording contract in the wake of her impressive journey on the show.

 

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