This week, the 10th season of Fox Television’s “American Idol” finally comes to an end.
I must say that I really enjoyed this year’s five-month singing elimination program. Without Simon CowelI returning as “the judge you love to hate,” I was worried that this year’s program just wouldn’t be as interesting and might be even be on its way out.
But, I was pleasantly surprised. With Simon gone, Randy Jackson took on the expanded role of “senior judge” quite well. Not only was he consistently supportive to the contestants with his constructive critiques, he offered the viewers insight into his vast experience in the music production industry.
I had mixed feelings about the two new judges that joined Idol this season. I felt singer-actress Jennifer Lopez was a great addition to this year’s program. I enjoyed her heartfelt, goose-bumpy, and sometimes tearful reviews. As for Steven Tyler, former lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith, I really didn’t think he was such a good choice. His 10-second reviews didn’t seem to offer much and I was disappointed that his language was often crude to the point that the station had to “bleep” it.
A new feature this year on “American Idol” was online voting, which dramatically increased the total number of votes cast each week. If you have a Facebook account, you probably found that it was actually quite simple to vote for your favorite contestant — or vote for several singers if you liked. So simple that even I figured it out and sent in a few votes.
As for the musical talent on this 2011 season — I feel, overall, it was much better than the past several seasons. Some of that better quality is undoubtedly due to “Idol’s” decision to hire Jimmy Lovine, a songwriter and producer, as an in-house mentor to work with the contestants on a weekly basis. I always looked forward to Lovine’s segments in which he shared his thoughts about each contestant’s rehearsal and his expectations prior to the singer taking the stage.
A couple of months ago, when the number of “Idol” contestants was trimmed to the top 13, I made a prediction that the three singers who would make it into the final three would be Pia, Casey and James. Well, none of those three young people made it into the top three, which just goes to show you how little I know about music talent.
But, I am happy to see that for the first time on “Idol,” two young country music singers, 16-year-old Lauren Alaina, from Rossville, Ga., and 17-year-old Scotty McCreery, from Garner, N.C., battled it out in the finals to become this year’s “American Idol.” I think we’ll be hearing a lot from both of them in the future.
Now, on to this week’s music trivia question: Which of the following “American Idol” contestants from past years did not go on to become a season-winning “American Idol?” A) Chris Daughtry, B) Jordin Sparks, C) Taylor Hicks or D) Fantasia Barrino?
Be the fifth caller this week and have the correct answer and you’ll win a $25 gift certificate from Get Wireless (located in the Safeway Shopping Plaza), where they have all your phone and accessory needs — just what you need to call in your votes to “American Idol” next season!
Now, let’s see how we did with last week’s music trivia question: Can you name the of title of retiring principal John Ketchem’s favorite Brad Paisley song? The 2008 hit tells the tale of how men and women are wired differently and perceive the world in entirely different ways. Is this Brad Paisley song A) “Any Man Of Mine,” B) “The Man In The Mirror,” C) “I’m Still A Guy” or D) “(I’m Your) Handy Man?”
The correct answer was “I’m Still A Guy,” which climbed to the top of the country music chart in May of 2008.
The 1995 song “Any Man Of Mine” was the first of seven number one hits for country singer Shania Twain. “Man In The Mirror” was a 1988 chart-topping hit for Michael Jackson. “(I’m Your) Handy Man” was a rock and roll Top-10 hit for both Jimmy Jones in 1960 and Del Shannon in 1964, then a folk version hit for James Taylor in 1977.
Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Bob Chasse, who won win a Best of Brad Paisley CD, a 20-song collection of Paisley’s top hits over the past decade. Bob has been a winner several times in the past, most recently a little over a year ago.
A couple of last things. New pictures I have added to my Web site are from the Jacob and Hansa Done wedding last Saturday evening. The recent graduates of ASU said their vows at the picturesque setting of the Reed and LaVerne Done (Jacob’s Grandparents) summer home, a few miles northwest of Tonto Village. Jacob will soon be entering law school, while Hansa has elected to pursue a doctoral program in biology.
Also, if you plan to attend the annual Mountain High Days arts and crafts show this holiday weekend in the Gila County Courthouse parking lot, please stop by our booth and say hello. We’ll be providing the entertainment for the three-day festival.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com