I was never much of an American Idol fan, because it seemed too scripted and predictable. However, I've been repeatedly fascinated by Cowell's Britain's Got Talent series because it casts a wider net. It might be a cell phone salesman singing a magnificent Puccini aria, an 80 year old great grandmother singing a classic french hit, or a hausfrau performing a beautiful song from Les Miserables, you get a broader selection of music, from a broader selection of contestants (not everyone is good looking and between 20 and 26). It's much more interesting, repeatedly. It's much more a show of ordinary people with extraordinary talent - something that American Idol never really had.
The latest is a shy young woman who had such a case of stage fright that she didn't even tell her family that she was going to the audition, not wanting to "let them down" if she failed. She killed on My Funny Valentine.
An ordinary person, not aware of just what an extraordinary talent she had. This is what Britain's Got Talent does better than anything here, and that is Simon Cowell's fingerprint. I don't watch American Idol, but I keep my eyes open for these. The story is always interesting and usually inspiring.
* OK, maybe not always a genius: Cowell to propose to pregnant mistress. At least he's doing the Honorable thing.
I love the moment when it becomes apparent how amazing her voice is - Simon looks like a dog that just heard the can opener...
The rooms suddenly got dusty, or something ... what an amazing voice!
Joe, yes that describes it precisely. But that pavlovian response shows why he's so repeatedly successful.
I wonder how spontaneous the reactions are, as after all, shows do have rehearsals, and the contestants have been screened. Still, shows like these can offer an opportunity for unknowns to bloom.
I saw some episodes of American Idol at a friend's house and it was fun.
Old Simon Cowell may be kind of a jerk, but he has made a lot of people successful.
Off to Amazon to see about this Alice Fredenham...
That really is remarkable. I really can't take much American Idol, and I've hardly watched any; like you say, way too much "beautiful 20 to 26 year olds" and too much emphasis on putting on a visual show instead of pure vocal talent, like Alice here. This seems like a better show.
I wonder if the reason American Idol is such a predictable dollop of pablum is that it's what they think the audience wants, and if they put up a better show, they'd get a better audience?
Wow. The only version I've found as good is Etta James. Pretty awesome for a cosmetician with stage fright :)
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