American Idol knows what to do with good singers, crowning champions and giving them record deals. And it knows what to do with bad singers, putting them on TV for weeks and weeks at the start of every season to give America a laugh. But it really doesn't know what to do with mediocrity, and that's what makes the Hollywood Week portion of the season so annoying. With the top talent from around the country in the room, waiting to be narrowed down to 24, you think AI would spend more than just one day showing us how the singers do. I don't even have a sense of how many times each singer had to go before the judges, but it sure seemed like a lot, and it would have been good to really see what they go through.
One of the much-hyped changes about this year's Idol was that the contestants would get to play instruments as well as sing during Hollywood Week. I'm not so sure that one will be back. When I talked to him a while back, Simon Cowell said that development was "not a particularly good thing or a bad thing," but I'm not sure I would have guessed that from his attitude last night, where he tended to say the instruments were distracting at best. The first contestant we saw, Brooke White, got praise for playing the keyboard and doing a "Carly Simon/Carole King thing," but after that, it was all down hill.
While I was a little bummed at not seeing some of my favorite contestants from the auditions — where was that shy little Samantha Sidley, who got a surprising amount of Internet buzz after her audition? Where was that brother and sister team? What about that girl whose sister was in love with Simon? Still, some of the most memorable contestants did make an appearance, and I think I have some guesses about the top 24, so to read more of my thoughts on Hollywood Week, just read more