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Thursday, January 19, 2006

More info on Idol: Maybe a fair shake after all. Plus: Transgendered singers and the new Lost

The other day I posted some thoughts about American Idol, wondering if it's even a fair competition at all anymore, because some contestants seem to be given an inordinate advantage over others in terms of coverage and visibility. I cited last year's winner Carrie Underwood as an example, noting that even at the audition stage the Idol execs were giving her a bio video and everything.

Well, good journalist/commentator that I try to be, if new information comes in that reasonably disputes something I've written then I've no problem with passing that along too, and let the reader judge for him/herself. And yesterday I was given some new information all right, straight from a source very close to one of the previous winners of the American Idol competition (I ain't saying which one though). According to the source, the producers of American Idol make videos - like the one for Carrie Underwood last year - for everyone who is in the top twenty or so contestants after they've all been sifted from the scores who get brought to Hollywood. At this point in real life although we're seeing the auditions that were taped months ago, the two-dozen or so from which will come the finalists that perform live for the cameras have already been tapped out, and have been for some time. Everyone who's in that semi-finalist group gets to be followed by cameras for background videos to be made of them. But with only so much time to focus on all the good ones (even if the bad ones weren't spotlighted so heavily) not everyone can get zeroed-in on. Which does make sense. And I'm assuming that the nervous cowboy guy last night is going to wind up being one of the top singers because they ran his bio video as well.

Speaking of which, we watched the last 20 minutes or so of American Idol last night, after going through two more episodes from the Lost Season 1 set (the backstories for Charlie and Sawyer) before the new Lost episode aired at 9. So we saw nervous cowboy kid and the "cosmic coaster" inventor. And we also watched this... person... perform:

So is Zachary a guy or a girl? Personally I think it's a female impersonating a male pretending to be a woman, the whole thing being a gimmick to get on the show. Has to be, right? Right?!?

New Lost was pretty good though: I watched the "orientation" film afterward and couldn't help but think that the leader of the Others looks a LOT like an older vesion of DeGroot, the grad student who started the Dharma Project. Just wanted to throw that out there.