Friday, April 15, 2011

848 It's The Producer, Stupid

848 It’s The Producer, Stupid

“American Idol” is winding up for the Big Finish. That means the endless and most boring season, the tenth, mercifully, will soon end. Even in its dotage, even without the elements that made it famous and closely watched in the first place, Idol scores well in the ratings.

And the contestants in this year have been widely acclaimed as the “best ever,” even by critics who (rightly) hate the show.

But it’s a fact: the stuff we’ve heard from the intentionally diminishing roster of finalists gets better each week.

Without getting into who’s better than whom, and who should or shouldn’t win, those remaining in the race are putting on star-quality performances and showing winning personalities.

Today, this troupe is far better than the gaggle of no-talents we saw at the beginning of the season. And why is that? Is it because suddenly hidden talent has emerged and flowered? No. It’s because now, these kids are working with full orchestras, backup singers, makeup artists, movement coaches, vocal coaches, professional sets, highly polished, top shelf audio and video people and first rate music producers.

These are the people behind the stars... yesterday, today and tomorrow. These are the people who fearlessly tell a performer “You screwed up. Here’s how. Now, do it again.”

The performers have to have the instinct. But the producers can take lemons and turn them into lemonade.

This program has shown over the years that America loves:

--Fat blonde women.
--Fat black women.
--Southerners.
--People with previous record deals.
--People who scream instead of sing.
--People who are willing to sign restrictive management contracts with the owners of the show.

By that measure, the biggest talent still on the show, North Carolina’s Scotty McCreary, 17, and a stunning country basso, probably won’t win because he’s okay with only one out of the six qualifications. And the biggest talent of the season, Pia Toscano of Howard Beach, Queens has already been voted off. (New Yorker, average weight, dark hair, screams only when it’s demanded instead of habitually, brilliant, near-operatic voice.)

The smart money is betting on Lauren Alaina because she’s ( a ) a fat blonde, ( b ) a southerner, ( c ) a screamer and ( d ) apparently willing to sign the deal.

But she’s also become ( e ) brilliantly produced. And it’s the producer, stupid.

Shrapnel (James Edition):

--Jim at the Gym is in his eighties and a lifelong Democrat. Watching Obama’s budget speech, he was speechless -- perhaps stunned to silence is a better description. Not as speechless as he and others are going to be when they realize what’s going to happen to their retirement funds, such as there are left of them after the Loyal Opposition takes a bad plan and makes it worse.

--RIP Jim Branch, former news director at WRFM, 78 or 79, depending on who you ask. Jim was a fine colleague and co worker, a lively commentator and a tireless truth teller when reporting the news. Cause of death was not listed in his obituary in the St. Petersburg, Fl Times.

--Jim Kingsland (see blog links at the right,) has managed to tell his readers that there are a lot of them, without blowing his own horn about it. Second lowest-keyed guy on the planet. Right behind retired MD George R. Caso of Moote Pointe, NY, who would diagnose Humpty Dumpty after the fall by saying “well, looks like you have a crack or two there, let’s we what we can do to put you back together again.”

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com.
© WJR 2011

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