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Thread May 23, 2015 editorial: comments

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Mike Levine

Mike Levine

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First post
1 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 10:00:03

Good Riddance to American Idol

Have you heard? Fox recently announced that American Idol has been cancelled as of the end of its 2016 season. You won't see me sniffling and grabbing for a hankie from this news.

Yes, AI has provided a path to notoriety (and occasional lasting success) for a lucky few who’ve won or come close, and anything that helps performers along with their careers is good, I suppose. But if you take into account all the losing contestants, and all those who go through the arduous audition process but don't make it onto the show, the success rate is infinitesimal.

But my main objection to AI, and some of the knock-offs it's spawned, is the disrespectful attitude expressed toward contestants by the judges. Starting with it's famously nasty original panelist Simon Cowell, AI made public denigration of performers acceptable. Singers, and musicians spend their lives putting it on the line for their art, so it bothers me that the show has encouraged, and indirectly profited from their humiliation. What's more, since AI has been viewed by so many millions of people over the years, I think it's fair to say that it's poisoned the dynamic between audiences and performers in general, at least to some degree.

Needless to say, I won't miss American Idol. Will you?

Have a great week.

Mike Levine
U.S. Editor, Audiofanzine
richard.sutton

richard.sutton

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2 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 10:57:08
Mike, I couldn't have said it any better. I get a good feeling every time another one of the UK game show imports fades into the distance. Someday, lazy program creators will realize we're not the same culture as our cousins across the pond. I was also annoyed at having amateur musical performance turned into fodder for the whole nasty business of denigration it became. I maybe watched it once or twice, but it turned me off, and has certainly changed American Popular Music in not a good way. I think about the entire focus of production and engineering zeroing in on the Sony Diva sound, leaving little room for anything that's fresh or original or unique. God forbid, we might even discover new gems in the rough except that being uber snarky has become the new National Sport. AI, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

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3 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 12:02:04
Well said!:bravo:
namnibor

namnibor

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4 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 12:38:02
^Agree entirely!
Simon Cowell needs to also make sure and take his partner in same sort of crime and program mentality, Chef Ramsey, with him when the door hit's his ass for last time leaving. Perhaps the two of them could each could obtain surrogate children and raise them together, as they are both equally disruptive and degenerative to society as a whole. I agree that AI has NOT done any favors in contributing to modern music scene in any good way and those same "Immediacy Generation" folk can be seen on music forums now, not wanting to hear "practice makes perfect', nor do they want to even learn music theory let alone synthesizer programming. No, they want to ALL be their favorite DJ and it seems the DJ has been exalted to higher status than any hard working and underpaid talented musician these days. Simon Cowell and others making such shows do not even respect the consequences of plagiarism because one of the cloned shows STILL has that plagiarist Phurrell (or however you spell that name) as a judge and it does nothing to show the ramifications of NOT being original.
I think that American Idol from the start was bordering on "bullying" and the way they used technology in show to 'vote up/down' participants, only fueled what has become 'cyber-bullying', which AI definitely changed the dynamics of 'musicians and fans' into 'disrespectful critic fans versus musicians/performers'. This was clearly seen at a major concert venue attended recently where people were downright rude...and spending ALL their foolish time messing about with social media instead of enjoying concert. Then having audacity to heckle the opening act between their social media postings...maybe I am just getting old, but I have always detested so-called 'reality TV', so now please, GET OFF MY LAWN! LOL! Sorry such a rant. Simon Cowell has the same effect on me as 40 incessantly barking Chihuahuas do...like an ice pick to my brain!

"Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding." Proverbs 2:2-3

[ Post last edited on 05/23/2015 at 12:39:53 ]

Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
5 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 14:24:41
So I think I can safely say you're not going to be joining the Simon Cowell fan club any time soon. ;) Seriously, you make a lot excellent points. Good rant! :bravo:
studio136

studio136

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6 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 15:31:30
Glad you said it Mike... Good riddance to that awful show. Some might argue that its a good platform for exposure for young artists etc. And I have seen many a talented singer too, But in reality its a show where one naive innocent wannabes get handed fame and stardom, and quickly becomes dismissed and redundant afterwards leaving them in a seriously vulnerable state. Some "artists" see this as quick jump to the top, but I don't think anyone can last in that crazy business world without "earning their trade". I personally find it horrific how 999 out of a thousand kids are degraded on public television, having their hopes shattered by the likes of Cowell , who has never lifted an amp worked in a studio or miked up a drum kit in his life. All he knows is that he has the power of the media to make of break any aspiring singer he wants, and has the media control to have thousands more innocent people queuing up the following year. This is not a rant.. these are just the facts. The only positive thing to come out of shows like AI an X factor, is the realization for us genuine musicians, audio engineers, singers, roadies etc,,, is that the music business is really run by the most musically ignorant people on the planet. And I for one, have taken comfort in the fact that my music doesn`t have to "make it".

Im putting down some guitars tarcks now, and for the next few hours, and I will probably lose myself in the moment, I have no idea how they will come out, but thankfully, only I will be the judge of that! Thanks for the update! and the good news!
NYCGRIFF

NYCGRIFF

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7 Posted on 05/23/2015 at 19:33:18
Right on, Mike! Don't need to add another word!
Plank Spank

Plank Spank

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8 Posted on 05/24/2015 at 04:27:08
I agree. The so called Reality TV concept is a farce. We've been force fed based on a popularity contest that is meaningless as it pertains to the quality of the product. I'll quote Wayne Krantz by saying it's no fun not to like pop. Most content on TV and Radio has been dumbed down to reach the lowest common denominator.

Pitch correction? Perhaps unrelated to AI, but another gripe I have. Where are the talented performers who could actually sing and hold a stable pitch? To add to that concept, where are the really great writers who could construct a song, not just a hook and a gimmick like a bunch of background singers spouting blah, blah, blah?

It's a sad day for entertainment when people don't think for themselves.

Working in this industry is hard work. After 20+ years, I've recently left the business for a more stable gig. People don't appreciate a commitment to quality anymore. That is the fundamental issue we face. We are willing to buy disposable, one shot or limited use products. Where will the hits of today be in ten years? I think they will be forgotten...
jpmcneil

jpmcneil

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9 Posted on 05/24/2015 at 06:52:32
One of the many reasons I have not had a TV for two decades, tho I did see moments of this show from time to time when at a friends (moments were all I could handle). Denigration has become big business, and popular on the tube. Reminds me of the Roman Coliseum where Christians were fed to the lions, to the screaming delight of the masses. Well, the masses have their heads up their a_ _ _s (plural). And the media is quite happy to shove em up further. Good riddance, tho I fear something worse could replace it. Or are the masses awakening? Speaking of decades.....
Mike Levine

Mike Levine

1064 posts
AFicionado
10 Posted on 05/25/2015 at 09:08:41
Quote:
Denigration has become big business, and popular on the tube. Reminds me of the Roman Coliseum where Christians were fed to the lions, to the screaming delight of the masses.

You're right. Obviously, the outcome of being insulted on TV is a lot less extreme, but the appeal to the audience is similar.
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