First off, I haven't seen tonight's episode of American Idol (Wednesday, February 17); I know, difficult to believe. So if you are reading this review, do not spoil the final results in any of your comments. I record the shows on my PS3, and I a day behind with my viewing.
This review is a critical examination of the "waiting game" that Fox likes to play toward the end of the auditions for American Idol. It's bothered me in the past, yet I continue to watch the show. However, this season it feels extremely off-balance. Usually, the show is split into the "room game" episode and the final 24 episode. As far back as I can recall, these results have always been revealed on separate days. This season was to be the exception. Fox producers decided to meld the two into one episode, or at least they tried to. The result: a mutated freak-show episode in which 3 women and 4 men were revealed after the long focus on the "room game," which took up a little more than half of the episode. These lucky few were regaled to America as being part of the final 24 contestants for season 9.
What was the reason for the split? Why try to crush everything into one episode? My guess to these questions, and many more I was asking myself during this show, is that American Idol producers figured out that the room episode was one of their lowest rated episodes. I know I have skipped this episode in the past. It's a lot of waiting with no conclusion. There's really no point to watching it other than a few glimpses of the final solo performances. The people who do make it through get one more day of waiting to see if they make the final cut. It's rather boring and tiresome for the audience.
As a way to spice it up, producers decided to give America a "sneak peek" at the final players in this reality show. Instead of hungrily snatching the bone thrown at me, I became annoyed. I don't like that some constants were highlighted earlier than others. To me, they have a slight advantage with the public. They shined as the first to be chosen, and the memory of their early faces and stories will probably carry them far in the competition. I always watch reality shows with an err of caution; I recognize that I only see what they want me to see (and who really are these nameless and faceless people directing the camera crew?). This episode harshly reminded me of this fact, and I only hope that those chosen in the continuation of Hollywood week get the highlighting they deserve. Unfortunately, the results from tonight's episode will again be rehashed in the ever popular recaps.
Speaking of recaps--there were too many in this episode! They even highlighted people who were cut during day one of Hollywood week. Why show the same tired faces? I'm ready to be "wowed" by the cream of the crop. If American Idol producers had cut a majority of these recaps, the show would have been half its length, if not more.
The judges were one of the only bright spots of this episode, at least when the audience actually saw them doing something other than deliberating over the pictures of the contestants. Talk about BORING! I had to sit on my hand to prevent it from trying to fast forward through a lot of the crap that Fox expected us to watch. So far, I am still most impressed with Simon Cowell, who really is the best judge on the show. I'm expecting more from Ellen, but I'm cutting her some slack because she is new to the American Idol community. It must be a daunting task to fill Paula Abdul's shoes. I've never been impressed with Kara DioGuardi, and Randy Jackson is more the "fun" judge since Paula left the show.
Despite their lack of participation, I agreed with 3 of their 7 choices, about a 42% similarity rate. Based off the few they put through tonight, I'm worried about the remaining final results. I'm sure some disappointment is in store for me as more of my favorites are going to be sent home during this final cut. I do predict that many of these early favorites featured tonight will get out before the top 12. Their personalities and singing qualities aren't strong enough to carry them far.
There were a few memorable scenes and stories in this episode. I actually enjoy when they recap the struggles of the contestants because I can understand and relate to their stories. Plus, I'm a sucker for the sob tales. My favorite moment, though, was when Kara popped her leg when hugging one of the handsome studs that she has been drooling over all season. It reminded me of that scene from The Princess Diaries when Anne Hathaway "pops" her leg up during her first kiss and the outdoor lights turn on in the garden. I'm ever the hopeless romantic.
Despite all my disappointments with this episode, I couldn't bear to rate it lower than 1, although my cynical self was pushing for that negative rating. I am a big fan of the show (which as a whole receives a +5 from me). How could I let one bad episode ruin the entire season for me? Basically, I won't let it. I just hope Fox tries something new next year. Personally, I think the "room game" should be replaced with something else and the final results should be their own separate episode that highlights all the contestants at one time.
Sorry guys! My DVR hasn’t been that dependable lately, so I’ve missed a few episodes. Luckily, I got to watch tonight’s episode and give you guys the update! 7 Idol hopefuls have already made it through to the Top 24 from yesterday’s episode. When the show started tonight, there were 37 people left to be told if they made it or if their dreams were cut short. Janelle Wheeler was the first one shown. We’ve seen her in previous episodes … more
This 2-hour episode from Season 9 of American Idol aired on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. It is Hollywood Round: Part 3. The 71 remaining contestants are separated into three holding rooms. The group is narrowed down to the top 46 people. By the end of this episode, 3 women and 4 men will be chosen to represent the top 24 singers for season 9 (for a total of 12 female and 12 male).