Chicago Sun-Times
We're watching TV. You're watching TV. Let's get on the same channel.

January 2008 Archives

Saving the best for last?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Another picture says a thousand words thanks to contestant Christina Tolisano:

Philly winding down

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Haar is back. He's taken Paula's advice and had his chest hair removed. He's selected "Don't cha." It's not clear whether it is the Pussycat Dolls or Anastacia as he doesn't get more than one word out before being shown the door.

Chris Watson, 20, fares a bit better with "Follow Me" by Uncle Cracker. It's unanimous and Watson is Hollywood bound.

The "Idol" picture show

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Words cannot describe Ben Haar. So, there's a picture after the jump:

Day two in Philly

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

After a day one recap, it's onto the "loud singer" segment. The less said, the better.

Milo is a middle aged-man from New Jersey. He wants to audition with a song "No Sex Allowed." Despite being too old, they give him face time in front of the judges. This is someone's idea of "good television."

Next up is Christie Lee who puts the amazing in "Amazing Grace." She's Hollywood bound. I'm guessing that she'll crack under the pressure of Hollywood week. Maybe she'll prove me wrong.


Chicago on "American Idol"

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

In this segment: families celebrating around singers who are good enough for Hollywood, but not interesting enough for much camera time.

A Chicago singer makes her Philly debut. Angela Martin is a 26 year-old mother whose daughter has a devastating neurological disorder called Rett syndrome. She is auditioning because a singing contract will enable her to provide health care for her daughter.

The march of the crazies

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Alexis is up. She looks a bit like Jem. She says she marches to a different drummer and thinks "Allentown" was written by Bon Jovi (it was Billy Joel).

She sings Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love." She's not that bad.

Simon lets her down easy. "This competition isn't right for you," he tells her.

Philadelphia freedom?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The next segment is about Philly showing off its unique talent.

Next up is a guy who attempts a Frank Sinatra song. True to the lyrics, he does it his way. His way is apparently flat and, according to Simon, "completely tuneless."

Ah, the "Idol" we know and love is back. It's a montage of people singing "I Love Rock N Roll" badly. The highlights: a drag queen, three women dressed like the Andrews Sisters and an angel.

Back in Philly

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

A trio of bad singers followed by a trio sent on to Hollywood.

Selected for the journey: Junot Joyner ("The Blues" by Elton John; Simon says he has a very good voice), Jose Candelaria (who belts a song in Spanish) and Zac Efron-lookalike Jonathan Baines.

Back from the commercial break

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

An immigrant is next. He picks a song for "Mr. the Bee Gees" called "How Deep Is Your Love?"

It's going to be bad.

Paula is impressed with how he "phoenetically learned the songs." Simon prods her to say something honest about Ali, but she doesn't take the bait. Simon thanks him for auditioning.

Next up is Melanie. She was a back-up singer for Taylor Hicks. Simon is unimpressed, but Randy and Paula vote to send her to Hollywood.

Season 7 kicks off

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The dream factory is open for business. Season seven of "American Idol" kicks off in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love has the largest crowd turn out for auditions in the show's history.

The decline of the American (Idol) empire?

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Let's get the ball rolling with Chris Daughtry's recent comments about "American Idol" to Rolling Stone :

“It’s in a state of decline and if they don’t do something about it, it’s probably not gonna last too much longer. I’m sure that’ll be used against me, but that’s the truth, you know?”

The top 10 worst 'Idol' auditions

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

In our experience, "Idol" viewers break down into two camps: those who don't start watching regularly until the audition shows are finished, and those who relish the culling of this screechy herd. For a reminder of what we're up against when the seventh season begins tonight, take a trip down memory lane on this Web page, which collects videos of the 10 worst "Idol" auditions along with Simon's commentary.

It's not as if there's anything else to watch

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Sun-Times TV critic Doug Elfman already interviewed Simon Cowell and "American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, but in an Associated Press interview with Lythgoe released today he added something we find amusing — and telling of our lonely life amid the writers strike.

It's not as if "Idol" has ever had a problem generating staggering ratings, but Lythgoe is more confident than usual that this season's contest will score highly. ‘‘Everyone is sort of saying that there isn’t anything else on television to watch,’’ Lythgoe said.

As a result, of course, getting your ad on during the show ain't cheap. Thirty-second commercials for this "Idol" season went on the block at $750,000 per, but now are going for as much as $1 million. "You have the No. 1 program in television for the last four years, and now it's going up against even weaker competition," ad-buying firm executive Ray Dundas told The Los Angeles Times. "Idol is going to do very, very well."

'Idol's' back — with a kinder, gentler Simon?!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

By Doug Elfman
Sun-Times TV Critic

Has Simon Cowell grown a heart? When “American Idol” returns with new auditions Tuesday night, there will be viewers wishing Simon would lighten up, and those viewers might include … Simon.

There are times, he says, when he hates himself for cracking on the wannabes.

“You don’t know the person’s back story, normally, before they walk in the room,” he says. “For all I know, their dog died an hour ago, and they’re singing this in memory of the dog. And I — or anyone else — is rude.”

Once he watches such episodes on TV, “when you see the whole story unfold, it’s horrible.”

It's on!

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Is TV a community activity?

We watch, often alone, but — if the show is really good or dreadfully awful — we are compelled to share, and carp, and kvetch. The whole notion of watercooler conversation originally came from people gathering to talk about last night's television shows, right?

So here's such a gathering space. We'll keep you posted on what's on — and what it's like — and you can take it from there. Hit those Comments buttons and agree or argue with us, and each other. And maybe we'll even reach a conclusion or two.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2000 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.