The Legacy of American Idol

American Idol was the first show of its kind to make stars. Sure, there was Star Search, but nobody really came right from that to become a huge success. Without Idol, I wouldn’t have discovered David Cook or seen him in concert so many times. Same for Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, James Durbin, Allison Iraheta, Nick Fradiani, Caleb Johnson, and Jena Irene. But that’s only the beginning of the story.

Idol’s success led to many other singing shows that took over the airwaves in ways big and small. Without Idol, we wouldn’t have The Voice and it’s success stories-the judges. I wouldn’t know who Blake Shelton was if it weren’t for The Voice. We also wouldn’t have had Duets or Rising Star. I know, we could all have done without Rising Star, the trainwreck that it was. If Idol hadn’t made Simon Cowell a household name and therefore someone who had the power to make TV shows of his own, we wouldn’t have America’s Got Talent and The X Factor. America’s Got Talent produced acts like Taylor Williamson, Mat Franco, Terry Fator, Jackie Evancho, and most recently Paul Zerdin. Acts like Beach Avenue (Nick Fradiani’s old band) and Dustin’s Dojo were robbed by AGT’s producers, but at least one of those situations worked out for the best. I look forward to AGT’s return this summer with Simon Cowell joining the panel.

Most importantly to me, without Idol, The X Factor UK wouldn’t exist. If Simon was never on American Idol, nobody would know who he was, and we wouldn’t have gotten amazing talent like Olly Murs, Matt Cardle, Cher Lloyd, Little Mix, Ella Henderson, Sam Bailey, Ben Haenow, Fleur East, Andrea Faustini, and most recently Louisa Johnson. I left out One Direction because I didn’t care for them on the show, but I will say it has been really cool to see them take over the world. We also would not have had Wagner, Reggie and Bollie, or Jedward, which would have been nice, but hey, no show can have a perfect record. I’m trying to forget about The X Factor USA, because with the exception of the talented Melanie Amaro (who I’m still pissed didn’t make it big), Alex & Sierra (who should also have made it big), and Fifth Harmony (who are doing extremely well for themselves), that show was a blemish on the franchise.

All of these people from all of these shows would still be undiscovered if it wasn’t for American Idol’s success. Because American Idol paved the way for shows like X Factor and AGT, I will be forever grateful.

Read the rest of this post including my top 5 favorite Idol performances at mjsbigblog

X Factor UK 2015 Final – Ranking the Top 3

Well, we made it everyone! This is my final power list post for X Factor 2015, and this is only the second week I’m confident with my predictions. Last week, as I predicted, we lost Lauren Murray. She was really talented and had a great personality, but she was destined to lose out to Louisa (as is everyone-but still). That, and her sing off performance was iffy at best. But she will still be missed.

Now, on to my final rankings! Keep in mind that I’m ranking based on what I think will happen, not what I want to happen (I want Louisa first, Che in second and R&B in third). At the end of the post, I’ll give my favorite semi-final performances. Let me know what you think in the comments!

  1. Louisa Johnson – There has never been such a clear favorite with the oddsmakers. And if you skipped the entire season and just watched last week’s total annihilation of Man’s World and Power of Love, you would know why. Louisa slayed both performances last week, having in my opinion the best single week of anyone on this show that I can remember. Louisa is redoing Man’s World this weekend. She’s also doing I Believe I Can Fly – which is a truly terrible choice, but it won’t matter in the end. Louisa will be releasing her winner’s single on Sunday night and I can’t wait to buy it.
  2. Reggie ’n’ Bollie – Last week’s performances exposed everything I hate about this act. The vocals were terrible, especially in the first performance-even the judges had to acknowledge that. The second performance was no different from any other performance they have done this season, except that it featured two of my least favorite songs of all time. Honestly, I don’t know which performance I hated more. The judges stood up again for the second one for some reason. This week, they are doing the One Direction song again, along with another mashup. Clearly it doesn’t matter what vocal atrocities they commit, they are still beloved by the judges and will end up in second place.
  3. Che Chesterman – Last week wasn’t his best, with neither performance on Saturday truly living up to Try A Little Tenderness or When A Man Loves A Woman. They were good, but not great. Bridge Over Troubled Water on Sunday was damn near flawless in my book, and it rightfully saved him. I’m really happy Che will get third place, as he is one of the most technically skilled male vocalists we’ve had on this show in recent memory. But sadly, third place is as far as he will go. His vocals are not enough to overcome being in the sing-off twice, forgetting the lyrics to Adele, and not having the judges go crazy over every single performance he does. It doesn’t matter if he nails Valerie and the mashup of Tears Dry on Their Own and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Che’s our third place finisher this year, barring a miracle.

My favorite performances from the semi-final

  1. Louisa – Man’s World
  2. Louisa – The Power of Love

Huge Gap

  1. Che – Would I Lie To You
  2. Che – Love is a Losing Game
  3. Lauren – Take Me Home
  4. Lauren – Runnin’
  5. Reggie ’n’ Bollie – Locked Away
  6. Reggie ’n’ Bollie – I Gotta Feeling/I Like To Move It

See my other power lists at mjsbigblog!

X Factor Audition Taping Recap

On Wednesday, July 15, I got to attend a taping of X Factor UK Auditions in London at Wembley Arena. I had a great time, and I have lots of tidbits to share about the experience.

First, the show ran quite late. I arrived to pick up my tickets at 2 PM, and didn’t get into the arena until 8:30 PM. I had to leave early at 11:30 PM in order to catch the subway, but they weren’t even done at that time.

Second, lots of things are faked for TV. From the crowds behind contestants being interviewed outside (really just audience members waiting for tickets) to some reactions in the arena (they even told us to “act shocked” as they filmed it).

But most importantly, I got some impressions of the new judging panel and some great talent.

And I have to say, I’m extremely excited for this upcoming season after seeing the panel in action. Nick Grimshaw was probably my favorite judge. He had great critiques (with some good zingers), he was brutally honest, and he seemed like he was invested. Such an amazing step up from Louis Walsh, I wonder why it took this long to sack him. Rita Ora was great too. She reminded me of Tulisa, maybe it was just her accent but maybe it was her attitude. Cheryl (Fernandez-Versini)and Simon (Cowell) are Cheryl and Simon. You either love them or hate them, and I lean towards loving them. The chemistry seems great.

I saw some bad auditions, but thankfully none of them made it through. I also saw an Olly Murslookalike, and soundalike. He made it through with 3 yeses, but I can’t see him making it any further than bootcamp. He was good, but he was too much like Olly. Simon wouldn’t stop comparing, and even brought Olly (who was hosting by himself last night) on stage to stand next to him.

But as far as the actual talent is concerned, I saw two acts that I think will make live shows. There was a guy who got the nickname Miley, as he loves Miley Cyrus. He was very flamboyant-wearing a mesh top and some interesting shorts, and feathers too I think. He reminded me of Adam Lambert, and not just because he sang Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” He got extremely positive critiques from the judges, after all four of them stood up for him (along with the rest of the arena). Rita cried, she loved his passion. I was just happy that he could sing and wasn’t going to be ridiculed. Simon called him a star, and if he keeps performing like he did in this audition, I think I’ll agree with that.

The other act I saw was a gospel choir with 5 young women. They apparently screwed up earlier that day but Simon told them to come back for the night show and I honestly couldn’t believe they didn’t already make it. All five could really sing, two were particularly amazing. The judges were positive. I was expecting a standing O, but they didn’t get one.

Overall, despite the long wait, it was a great experience.