Friday, March 20, 2009

How to Make American Idol Not Suck

Obviously, this season's apparent lack of anyone nearly as attractive as Carrie Underwood is hurting. The fact that the show is in something like its eighth season isn't helping either. Sure, producers, you can try as many gimmicks like "new judge" and "judge veto" as you'd like, but it's not going to make the show any less sucky.

How to tackle that, then? Themed song nights, of course. "But they already do that!" Oh, yeah, sure. "Country". Really creative there. "Songs from the Billboard Top 100". That's clearly narrow enough to throw the contestants into unfamiliar territory. "The music of Neil Sedaka". Who the heck is that anyway?

No, we need to keep these, just step up the creativity a little bit. "Weird indie-pop" night, featuring music from Matt's iPod. I can see it now: "Who the heck is Sufjan Stevens?" "Oh, yeah, the Shins, didn't they have a song in Garden State?" Bonus points for a dude singing in Sherri DuPree's vocal register, or for anyone tackling the Decemberists' "Mariner's Revenge Song".

The week after that, we put on "Rap: the Highlights of the Gangsta Era." Each contestant has to perform a hit by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, NWA, Notorious BIG, or their contemporaries. The song "Bitches Ain't Shit" off of Dr. Dre's seminal The Chronic is not only allowed but encouraged; however, it has to be the original, not the Ben Folds cover. And contestants are expected to have some of their songs "featuring" other contestants at some point.

Finally, maybe once the field has thinned itself a little, spring the real surprise: "Screaming Death Metal Showcase". Cradle of Filth or any of a number of bands I've never heard but would probably be painful to listen to. Automatic disqualification if you sing, rather than scream, for more than a few seconds.

Currently listening: The Hazards of Love, the Decemberists. Review and discussion to follow, as soon as I digest it all.

No comments: