American Idol, Eps 3+4 (ITV2, Thu @ 8pm / Fri @ 9pm)

Milwaukee + Nashville – Idol goes country

SSSSHHHHHH….whisper it……..[I actually quite like country music…] It may not be cool (east of the Atlantic and north of the Mason-Dixie line anyway) and maybe it’s something that’s coming with age, but there’s just something about what Joss Whedon termed “the music of pain” that really gets me. Surely every woman over the age of 30 has at least one (hopefully ex) partner she could happily dedicate this to?

But back to the show, and a young couple who sang together, got together, lived together, split up…and now audition together. And it’s actually quite sweet. If this was on the UK’s X Factor (as I dimly recall it sort of was in the last year or two) it would be handled in a slightly more mean, colder way – particularly on the spin-off Xtra Factor. Maybe it’s because I have to be cynical in my day job but I can’t help liking the gentler approach. It’s the genre – it’s not pretending to be Panorama or Dispatches. And Steven Tyler‘s surprising willingness to embrace the madness and soap opera of the show sees him rapidly turning from the Simon Cowell replacement to the new crazy Paula role. Who’d’ve thunk?  Next up of note: Miss Tennessee: “Stormi”. J-Lo pulls off the impossible – a realistic “no”, without sounding bitchy. Though she does sum up the audience’s response to the other two ‘yeses’ – “Seriously”?? Next up, a young adopted black girl with white parents. She’s got the narrative but not the chops, but the panel don’t seem to care. See you getting kicked out in the next round. Latoya “Younique” Moore – you know it’s never going to go well when there’s a montage of posing at the start and she’s brought her own cd. On the bright side, without the overpowering Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest gets to prove a quiet ability to (nicely) let the duff contestants hang themselves. Matt Dillard – 700 foster kids in 23 years?? Holy **** – I think that’s a different programme. Last up, 15-year-old Lauren Alaina…and the brain-tumour story has summer blockbuster written all over it. But finally: a proper country voice and, in the words of Steven Tyler, “beyondo cute”. A semi-duet, swelling music and I’m welling up just a little bit…but not in pain.

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~ by LittleMissMon on January 30, 2011.

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