Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A teensy bit obsessed

In a way, I wish I were one of those people who doesn't like reality shows. It seems more sophisticated to talk about the commedic timing of 30 Rock than to park yourself in front of the TV for American Idol every Tuesday and Wednesday night. Alas, the latter is me.

Idol has been on for seven seasons. I've never watched it before this year. I didn't get what the big deal was. But then the writer's strike happened, there weren't any more episodes of Pushing Daisies or Grey's Anatomy and so I tuned in. And got hooked.

And now I'm...well, I'm kind of obsessed. I've seen nearly every episode of American Idol this season. I love music anyway, and there's something so engaging (and addictive) about seeing "live" performances and rooting for average joes and janes to become stars. Even if the judges do constantly use non-musical critiques by adding "-y" on the end of everything: "pitchy," "shouty". Yes, I'm talking to you, Simon Cowell.

There's been talk in the news about it losing some of its viewership this year. It's still the biggest show on TV and hasn't lost as many viewers as other shows like CSI. But I do think it could use more relevant mentors. Last week was Neil Diamond. Yeah. I don't know about you, but the first two things I think of when I hear his name are "Las Vegas" and "Bedazzled Leisure Suits." And I ADORE Dolly Parton (she was mentor a few weeks ago)--literally think she's practically a genius singer-songwriter--but even I'll admit most of her music isn't quite as relevant today for the masses. Andrew Lloyd Webber was fantastic a couple of weeks ago, but I get the limited appeal of Broadway. My inner theater geek absolutely jumped for joy when I heard he'd be on, and he was probably the most helpful mentor they've had this year. He'd actually be a good replacement for Simon if he ever left the show. But enough already of my Idol analysis. I could go on for pages.

So here's what you need to know, those of you who are smirking/eyerolling behind my back. The best two are David Cook and recently-booted Brooke White. You'll want to pay attention now because they'll be famous one day.

I've been a fan of David Cook since he did a rock-emo version of Lionel Richie's "Hello" several weeks ago. It was amazing. Check him out on iTunes and download "Bille Jean" and "You'll Always Be My Baby." That's right. He covered a super girly Mariah Carey song and made it awesome. Gotta love that kind of risky choice. Basically all of his songs are good, but try those two first--definitely worth $2. This time next year he'll be crazy famous.

My other favorite, Brooke White, got booted off last week--aaarghh. I understand why, but it doesn't make it better. She's a fabulous musician but not totally comfortable on stage yet. She's got a whole Carly Simon-Sheryl Crow thing going on and looks like the kind of girl you'd want to be best friends with. Get Brooke's "Let it Be" and "You're So Vain."

My favorite places on the Web for all the latest Idol info are Entertainment Weekly, MTV and People.

On a side note, I lost 5 lbs last week. Yeah. 5 POUNDS!! I used to think Weight Watchers was for little old ladies, but now I'm a believer.

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