My complaints about American Idol’s Hollywood Week

I already sang the praises to  the concept of American Idol. However, I did mention that the execution of the show sometimes leaves a little, or even a lot, to be desired. This refers to the “dreaded Hollywood week” (as it as called in a very clichéd way all across the media), which was on last night.

First, I refuse to understand why contestants are forced to waste so much time trying to form a group for the group round, which leaves them less time to rehearse, keeping them up all night and then adding to the drama on the day of the performance. I guess one might argue that drama is what reality shows are all about, but come on, be reasonable – it is genuinely tiring to watch those poor kids try to find a group for half an hour. To make it worse, producers suddenly announced that each group has to consist of Day One and Day Two contestants, so that no group can consist exclusively of Day One-ers and thus possess the advantage of an extra day of rehearsals. Don’t get me wrong – I do think it’s only fair, but how hard is that to announce this rule in advance, so that the already formed groups wouldn’t have to stress out over getting a Day Two member? Again, this unnecessary drama is not that fun to watch.

I propose a fun experiment for the next Idol season: divide contestants into groups of, say, four or five, randomly, using a computer after the first Hollywood round is over – no switches (unless there is an emergency – there would have to be some rules, of course) or complaining permitted. There will be plenty of drama as contestants that don’t necessarily get along so well, or just very different contestants who never met before, will be forced to work together. And, most importantly, everybody will have exactly the same amount of time to practice and rehearse, so no more blaming a bad performance on the lack of time, etc. Perfect solution, yes?

The concept of proper practice and rehearsal brings me to my second complaint, namely: what the hell is going on with the lack of space for contestants to practice?! Idol is one of the biggest shows on American television, with, I’m sure, more than decent budget, and yet it proudly announces year after year that it is difficult for groups to even find a spot to rehearse without being disturbed by other groups or being in a restroom or a parking garage (yes, I’m talking about last night’s episode). How hard is that to provide each group with a space for rehearsals?! I’m sure there are plenty of rooms in the hotel (or whatever it is) they do the Hollywood week in, including the spaces every hotel has, like conference space and other huge rooms that can be easily divided so as to many groups can use the same space without disturbing each other. Seriously, Idol creators – do something about this nonsense!

Other than that, loving this season so far. Maybe Steven Tyler can try and be more coherent, and/or look like he’s not high all the time, but even those things haven’t started to really annoy me yet. Really curious to see who makes it to the final round!


About Allantoin

A Fierce Russian's Perspective is a blog about the world as seen by a Russian immigrant (yours truly).
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2 Responses to My complaints about American Idol’s Hollywood Week

  1. allantoin says:

    …And an update after performances and eliminations that aired last night.

    I now have several favorite contestants, although I don’t know their names: I really liked that blond girl who almost got sent home after the group round, but then she did an amazing blues song; the guy who did a stunning “God Bless the Child” that was so emotional that he literally collapsed after he was done; and the red-headed guy who did “Georgia on My MInd” playing the standup bass – he is probably my most favorite.

    An extra complaint: the judges seem to keep some contestants going because they are cure, not because of their vocal abilities – or at least that’s how it seems from the fragmented way “Idol” portrayed their solo performances. I’m talking about Ashley, the unstable girl who wanted to do an emotional song a cappella, but instead stumbled and didn’t even do the song – or at least we didn’t get to see it. Based on that, I would’ve definitely sent her home, especially after the judges said she was pitchy in the group round. And, of course, the adorable 15-years-old JC – I would have definitely sent him packing after he forgot the lyrics during the group round and then wasn’t exceptionally good during the solo performance. It’s not a cuteness contest, people! But they are both going through. We’ll see how that turns out.

  2. allantoin says:

    And another thing: during the upcoming round of live performances, I wish contestants would take more risks and sing unexpected less known songs, such as rock and heavy metal songs, but in a different way with a focus on vocal strengths. I’m tired of everybody singing the same songs year after year.

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