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Australian Idol, the Idol Phenomenon and Talent Development...

Benchmark for the next Australian Idol:
Fantasia Barrino

Having sufferred through episodes 1 and 2 and finding epsiode 3 even more excrutiating, I was all set to engage in a bitch fest about some questionable decisions by the judges.

Hopefully the pain will end soon because the talent(?) just seems to be getting worse. Tonight, some of the hopefuls were so bad, I found myself looking away at times and at other times yelling at the screen. ( I don't think my cardiologist would like me getting so worked up. Who knew watching Idol could be hazardous to your health.) Though there was the odd spot of comic relief.

However, it's all very well to sit on my butt and criticise when I don't have to be the one making the hard decisions, I don't have put my self through the nail biting experience of an audition and when I can't sing a note to save my lfe.

Instead I thought I would take a look foward and ask just what we should expect from the next Australian Idol?

To be sure Guy Sebastian is something special. And his victory in Series 1 gave the show a status and credibility that few would have guessed.

Guy definitely raised the bar and his talent has hopefully also raised viewer expectations of what we want from our next Idol.

The fact that the national winner then competes in the World idol competition, is another good reason to make sure we vote for the very best talent.

To be sure, Guy has definitely been doing us proud on the international stage. When he sang on American Idol Series 3, he even got a standing ovation!

But if Guy has set a high standard, American Idol Series 3 winner Fantasia Barrino has taken it up a few notches more. In the US she is being hailed as possibly the best Idol ever and with good reason.

And while the Idol winner will (fortunately) not have to go up against Fantasia (as the next World Idol will presumably feature Series 2 winners), I don't think we should settle for anything less in our next Australian Idol than the awesome standard set by Fantasia.

I am sorry to say than to date no one has really stood out in the auditions, not in the way that Guy did.

It is not unresaonable to expect that out of 50,000 hopefuls the competition would be able to produce at least one truly exceptional talent who can stand out and shine on an international stage.

I know that such great talent exists, I've seen it for myself.

And so I keep watching in eager anticipation as the auditions continue...

July 20, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

My Guide To Watching Australian Idol

So Australian Idol aired its first episodes last week.

I must say I hate this first part of the series and usually try to avoid it.

This is after all what I like to call the freak show part of the series, where spectacle and ridicule are the focus of the show as opposed to the search for real talent.

However, the victory of the fabulous and talented Guy Sebastian has definitely raised the bar and quite possibly changed the way people view the series. Add to this the recent airing of American Idol 3 here in Australia which showcased some amazing talent, not least of which was Series 3 winner Fantasia, and you have to expect that audiences will not settle for anything but exceptional talent this year.

At least that is what I am hoping.

So I have decided to suffer through this first part. The part which taken on its own can easily be dismissed as a joke. The part which makes a mockery of the hard working and exceptional talent that exists in this country by giving the time of day to a fair number of the very worst.

Why endure this pain? Because I want to see if the judges are walking the walk. They say they are going to be much more discerning this time. They say they are expecting a much higher standard. So let' see.

To help me make it through initial series of the ridiculous and the excrutiating episodes that the producers like to call audutions and indeed to help me keep the rest of the series in perspective, I have decided to remind myself of a series of points I like to call My Guide To Watching Australian Idol.

RULE 1: This is a TV show. First and foremost it's all about what makes good television. What makes good television makes good ratings and good ratings mean higher advertising rates and happier (and bigger) sponsors. So there's is a very strict formula to the show, tried and tested to schieve these results and the producers stick to it.

RULE 2: The best singers don't neccessarily get through to the judges. Two types of people get through to the judges. The excrutiatingly bad, the ones we all laugh at, and those which in the producers opinions have something that will make them appealing as characters on the show. These are the ones judged to have potential audience appeal and/or raw talent. The producers don't neccesarily want fully formed, polished performers, because they to see the characters develop as the show progresses.

RULE 3: Whatever else you think of him, Dicko is usually right. Sometimes he goes too far, but on balance he is the only one who actually is brutally honest with the performers. In such a tough competition, no one is done any favours by being handled with kid gloves.

RULE 4: The judges are human. They make mistakes. They have feelings. And with the number of (bad) auditions they have to sit through and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make...well just think how you would fare in the same situation.

RULE 5: The people make it to the final 12 are not neccessarily the best of the 50,000 who tried out, let alone the best in the country. They are simply those lucky enough to make it past the producers, then good enough to make it through the auditions, who then managed to impress the judges enough to make it to the top 40, where they then managed to be popular enough to be voted in by they public (except of course for the judges choices). In short they manged to survive the various stages of the comp and mor epower to them for so doing.

That all being said, and to my surprise, some great talent still makes it through and that's what make sthe show exciting to watch...for me anyway.

July 17, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)