Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Toodles Talent Shows

This post is to announce my official retirement from reality talent shows. Oh, I may casually catch an episode of American Idol here and there in the future, but the bombardment of too many singing competitions, and too much wasted time spent on the internet following them, has rendered my interest level empty.

After 10 years of at times obsessively watching American Idol, this year I found myself adding The Voice and X-Factor to the mix and was primed for talent show mania. What resulted is talent show burnout. I just couldn't force myself to give a fuck like I used to. It all blended together, felt like the same old shit, and to be honest I found the whole thing boring and predictable.

In short, I realized that I just don't give a damn anymore about reality talent shows period. Same old cliches, same old dramas, same old bullshit. Been there, done that (way too many times), and I just can't go there anymore.

I'm sure I'm not alone. American Idol was originally new and fresh, then became a mega hit with all kinds of excitement, but now it just seems tired, old and forced. Nothing original, none of that energy of anticipation that came with something special and important...the thrill is gone, at least for me.

In fact, maybe it isn't the show's fault at all. Maybe it's just that I've grown apart from it after so many years. I'm bored, I got nothing left for it, no more love, no more thrill, no more nothing. It's just time for me to move on.

This doesn't mean I'm unappreciative of the contestants that have made an impact on me, and with that I will now thank the two who had the greatest impact on me, and give mention to the others who I also have personal interests in.

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Haley Reinhart

The seductive torch singer with the luscious voice and girl-next-door charm absolutely captivated me during Season 10 of American Idol, and following her post-idol career has become part of my daily routine. I absolutely can't get enough of her, and am thankful she's only 22 years old so that I'll be able to enjoy decades more of her timeless music. Haley's debut album, Listen Up!, showcases her remarkable musical diversity, and is an impressive start to what promises to be a sensational career. My hope is that in the future she'll focus her talents more in the jazz/blues realm where she's particularly gifted. If so, I believe Grammys and recognition as one of the all time greats awaits this beautiful starlet.

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Crystal Bowersox

The very embodiment of singer/songwriter, Mamasox brought more authenticity to the American Idol stage than any performer in history. Her willingness to share her deepest, most personal life experiences through her music is surely cathartic for her, and allows us as fans to feel we know the real Crystal, not a stage act or showbiz persona. Her debut album, Farmer's Daughter, was a roots-rock journey taking us from her tortured past to her joyful present. Her recently released EP, Once Upon A Time, is an acoustic, folk gem from her pre-Idol era in which Crystal again bares her soul and pristine voice in truly intimate fashion. Excited to hear what comes next from Mamma.

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Others Deserving Mention

Kelly Clarkson: Though I'm personally not a big pop music fan, her run on American Idol Season One remains the standard by which all Idols, and Idol seasons, should be measured. I also love her attitude, a real down-to-earth chick who never let superstar celebrity go to her head.

David Cook: I absolutely loved Cookie as a contestant on the show, but post-Idol his music has fallen somewhat flat for me. A lot of bland formula rock stuff. Hopeful he'll have more edge and originality being independent of the label.

Casey Abrams: Was not a huge fan of Casey's on the show during Season 10 - probably because a singing competition doesn't really highlight his best talents, but his self-titled debut album is outstanding. I'm also a big fan of the live performances he's given on his road tour. He's an incredible musician, great performer. and I think the best is yet to come for The Beard.

Tim Halperin: "Who"? Tim Halperin, that's who! He was just a semi-finalist of Season 10, but his album, Rise and Fall, is incredible. If you haven't checked it out, do so. Piano driven and thoughtful, Tim is the real deal.

Pia Toscano: Yeah, I'm kinda partial to Season 10, huh? Pia is as drop-dead gorgeous as they come, and she has a very strong voice to boot. When she was shockingly eliminated 9th in Season 10 I about shit on the floor. Then Intercsope Records signed her but never released her album. WTF? Anyway, now she's finally parted ways with them and I'm very excited to see what she has to offer with her new record company, Underground Entertainment. Love her twitter personality, too.

Phillip Phillips: A great, laid back dude who can really play the guitar, it's still a little early to know what's to come from Phillip, but I do like his sound and I like his style, so I'm hopeful he's going to make a killer album.

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I know I've skipped a ton of Idols others love, and probably one of your favorites, but this was just who has impacted ME the most. I'd love to hear who has impacted YOU the most, too, so feel free to share.

Meanwhile, goodbye and thanks again reality talent show TV. It's been a fun ride, very entertaining, but the time has come to move on to other things. I'll stop by and visit from time to time, say hello, but you won't see me hanging around  like an Idol rink-rat anymore. Peace out.


  1. GREAT POST! Totally feel the same way! Burned out and not feeling it anymore. I'd have to add Carrie to your list. I think she's been the most amazing idol of them all.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Anonymous Burned Out Citizen! ;)

  3. Great post. I like your list but would definitely add Bo Bice. He opened up the show to rockers and was just an all around great guy. I share your burnout too. -Andy

  4. You da man, Andy. Bo was good, liked him a lot, but not enough to make my impact list.

  5. Another great post. I knew when The Voice and X-Factor entered the picture--that viewer fatigue would set in for many. I mean--can't these networks think of anything original? How about a few more quality scripted shows using trained, talented writers and actors who need work.

    I did not watch The Voice or X-factor because I didn't want to get burned out. AI is one of the few shows my husband & I watch together. However, even with Idol--I'm starting to lose interest. It really is the same stuff over and over. Not to mention the same songs over and over. Damn--with all that cash they pay those judges-- save some and clear more songs.
    I did have an idea though. Why not use holograms/CGIs for the judges and save all that money. Idol could have Frank Sinatra, Janis Joplin and Patsy Cline on the panel. How about John Lennon, Ella Fitzgerald and Keith Moon? Lots of choices The producers write what the judges say anyway--LOL

    I didn't watch Idol the first few years--so I missed Kelly and others. But--I'm with you--I am very partial to season 10. Loved Casey and Haley so much that those two alone made it my fave season. But, I liked almost all the top 10. IA--Casey's cd is an awesome debut--really look forward to more. Fingers crossed that his cd sells well enough to get him a 2nd record. Hope that one day he has total artistic control cause that will be one amazing album. His live stuff is stellar.

    Also with you on the golden Haley. Sing some jazz Ms Reinhart!

    Loved Crystal too. Actually--sat through a very boring season 9 just to watch her. She has a breathtaking voice--so pretty. Wonderful songwriter--musician--artist--the real deal

    I enjoyed season 7 quite a bit. Cook wasn't my fave--but he was so fun to watch. He played the idol game like a chess master.

    I will throw in Melinda Doolittle to the mix--great singer.

    Will download Tim's cd on your advice.

    Haven't made up my mind if I will give season 11 a shot or not. But, I'm starting to think I may not. Hope u stick around twitter and still talk about the past contestants u love. Laura

  6. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Laura! Don't worry, I'll be on twitter talking Haley, Crystal, Pia, Casey, etc. Just not gonna be into the talent shows moving forward.