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Thread: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

  1. #21
    FORT Fogey TeacherLady's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Out in the boonies of NC

    Re: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm MEL;3464996;
    Agreeing with this TOTALLY! Ricky Braddy was amazing. Jasmine was not ready for this - she was such a doll that they fell in love with her and became irrational!
    I also thought Ricky Braddy was terrific and was disappointed he was not given a Wild Card spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm MEL;3464996;
    Absolutely! I didn't watch Seasons 1 & 2 or early Season 3, so I hadn't seen this method of getting Top 12/13 before. It felt cramped to me - it's difficult to tell a great deal about the contestants and whose voice/style you like from only one performance, although I guess most of the top 13 had already had fairly generous exposure prior to Top 13 this year. I guess this gives the producers/judges more control over who makes it and who doesn't, although it clearly didn't work as they had anticipated this season.
    What I liked about going back to the Groups 1, 2, & 3 and Wild Card way of forming the Top 12 was that they weren't confined to equal numbers of males and females. 2009 was a year with way more talent on the male side, and some really good guys wouldn't have made it if they had to have an equal number of females, and more of the so-so females would have.

    One thing that differed from the early seasons is that back then, the public voted on the Wild Cards. I liked that better. Maybe Ricky B. and Jessie Langseth would have made it if "the people" had been able to choose, and Tatiana del Toro and Nick/Normund wouldn't have.

  2. #22
    from sky to fire fireflyer's Avatar
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    Feb 2004

    Re: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Jexter;3465027;
    In an earlier interview, Simon basically said they cast for the show. He didn't say anything about record sales. When you think about it, even with Carrie and Kelly, the revenue producers get from the Idols as a result or recording contracts is a drop in the bucket compared to what they get from the show. It's tv first and foremost.
    Hmm, I find Jexter's comment very intriguing and insightful. I have always assumed that any show manipulation is done with the goal of arriving at the most marketable winner. I never really considered that more $$$ could be gained from the TV show itself than from future record sales...

    Could this be true? Is the TV show truly more lucrative than later record profits? If so, then why would 19E even waste much time marketing ANY contestants after the show?

    I guess maybe because the TV exposure insures more sales than other non-televised skilled artists could get.

    It would be VERY interesting to see the dollar comparison's of AI tv show profits versus 19E profits from owning Carrie U.

  3. #23

    Re: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

    Quote Originally Posted by TeacherLady;3465450;
    One thing that differed from the early seasons is that back then, the public voted on the Wild Cards. I liked that better. Maybe Ricky B. and Jessie Langseth would have made it if "the people" had been able to choose, and Tatiana del Toro and Nick/Normund wouldn't have.
    I've been reading about what people have been saying here about the judging, the wild cards and the new "save" option. And I think it all contributed to something of a train wreck at the judges table this year.

    AI "judges" have two distinct roles:
    • During the auditions they (along with the producers) literally are judges, forming the cast for the semi-finals.
    • Traditionally, once the live semi-finales start (with audience voting) the judges switch hats, and become critics. They no longer decide who moves forward - the voting public does. Their role is to provide professional feedback and bring out details that the public at large might not notice. But their comments do not influence the outcome, except in indirect ways.

    It's hard enough for the public to understand this role switch - especially when they are introduced as "judges" week after week. But it's an important distinction because there are things that a critic can say or do that would be totally inappropriate for a judge. A critic can champion a favorite, for example. Criticism is completely subjective, so there is no expectation of "fairness". It would not be inappropriate for a critic to spend time with a contestant explaining in depth how they could do better next time.

    All those things, however, would be completely out of bounds for a judge. A judge should walk in to a competition with no prior connection to the participants, view the performances, and rate them as fairly as possible. And Idol fans constantly ding Simon, Randy, Paula, and Kara for not judging fairly. To which I have replied many times in the past: "But, they aren't JUDGES; they're CRITICS!"

    Until this year. When the producers took that distinction (judges during the taped preliminaries; critics during the live voting shows) and shot it all to hell.

    First, the wild cards. I like the idea of wild cards, especially when they are voted in groups like they did this year. It's possible that one group (like Group 3 this year with Adam, Allison, Kris, Mishovana, and Jesse) is heavy with talent. So, adding back in the best of the rejects makes sense.

    But the way to do it is to have the audience vote. The way they did it this year was the judges-producers selected who they wanted to come back and then the judges-producers selected who they were sending to the finals. (Oh, and they made this all-important decision with no time for deliberation. Including the decision to bend the rules and add an extra wild-card person to make a top 13.) Even the casual viewers could see that they had already decided who they were bringing back.

    But the main point here is that Simon-Paula-Kara-Randy took the power away from the voters, and put their judges hats back on. Hence the confusion: When they were critiquing the semi-finalists, were they helping push the outcome to their pre-determined choices? What set or rules were they playing by?

    Then, the judges "save". Once again, they are given the power to overrule the voter. So at that moment they are no longer just critical bystanders making suggestions to the singers. They are now changing the outcome.

    That raises the expectations that the audience should be holding them to judge standards instead of critic standards. So when Simon and Paula make the talk show rounds and blab about how Adam and Danny have the finale in the bag, I think people are rightly miffed. The show has taken a barely understandable line and blurred it incomprehensibly by inserting the fat fingers of the judges-producers into the live voting portion of the program.

    Randy said this in an interview last week: "America always gets it right."

    I wish the judges-producers would stand by that statement and stop inserting themselves into the process. Once the voting starts, they should be allowed only to stand to the side and make comments. And may the best contestant win.

  4. #24
    Foster Your Inner Kacey BobDobolina's Avatar
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    Mar 2003

    Re: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

    Nice analysis, TopCat. I think what's interesting about these moves to add more "judging" instead of "criticizing" to the process is that it may be revealing that the producers do know that the voting process is deeply flawed and want some checks and balances to regulate what can happen. The wildcard structure and the judges save are clearly ways to say "these things are here just in case the audience is too stupid to do the right thing."

    For the record, if they don't fundamentally change the voting system, I'd prefer that they keep these judging additions. As much as I tend to disagree with the judges, I have even less faith in the voting process.

  5. #25
    FORT Fanatic Fooled Again's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Land of Confusion

    Re: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

    I watched this season for Adam & Allison. So glad they both ended up doing so well. One with a lot of praise and one with almost none. So glad AI discovered these 2 for me.

    I think next season they need to go back to 3 judges. Kara is the one I would like to see go. She didn't add anything new or interesting, and her songwriting skills leave a lot to be desired. We heard less music by the contestants because of judging taking more time. People watch for the music.

    Randy, Paula, and Simon need to "GROW UP". They are getting paid a LOT of money to do this show, so they should do it right. Stop using the same trite phrases over and over when judging, stop trying to box the contestants in, stop showing BLATANT favoritism, and show a little respect by actually listening when they sing.

  6. #26
    You call that MUSIC!!?? Ellender's Avatar
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    Feb 2008

    Re: Season Eight - Let's Look Back

    I agree, the 4th judge was a waste of time and didn't make the show more entertaining. Kara's not as funny as Paula and her critiques aren't as valuable as Simon's or Randy's (IMO). I think the show's too much about the judges anyway. I want more songs or longer songs.

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