Saturday, May 19, 2007

American Idol - May 19, 2007



Hitting the high notes

The good news is that American Idol wraps up
this week. The bad news is that
Canadian Idol is just around the corner.

By Eric Kohanik

After weeks of showcasing vocal performances that have ranged from heavenly to horrific, American Idol will finally wrap up this week.

The bad news associated with this, of course, is that there is another season of Canadian Idol just around the corner.

Now, that’s not to say Canadian Idol (which, at press time, was due to begin its new season the first week of June) isn’t a series worth watching. Even if it does have Ben Mulroney as its host.

No, it’s just that all this Idol worship is just getting to be too exhausting. And, frankly, the franchise may need a bit of a break.

This week’s two-part finale of American Idol will hit its peak on Wednesday night as the show crowns a sixth champion to join the ranks of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks

Of course, this season of American Idol was fraught with peculiarities. While talented competitors kept falling by the wayside, a dedicated “vote for the worst” campaign actually managed to keep the woeful Sanjaya Malakar in the race for longer than anyone could have imagined.

Ultimately, sanity prevailed. When it came down to this season’s Final Four – Blake Lewis, Jordin Sparks, Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones – any of them would have made a credible champ. 

Still, the Sanjaya campaign was a curious phenomenon that magnified what happened with nerdy competitor Kevin Covais last year. It spiced up interest in the show. But one of these days, that sort of effort may crown a real loser as the show’s ultimate winner.

Of course, there are those who would say American Idolhas really done that a coupleof times already. With such runners-up as Clay Aiken (who lost to Studdard in the second season) and Katharine MacPhee (edged out by Hicks last year) showing a ton more popularity than their victorious rivals, it’s not always clear that Idol fans really know what they’re doing when they pick a winner.

Canadian Idol has had mixed results with its four champs, too. Ryan Malcolm, Kalan Porter, Melissa O’Neil and Eva Avila have experienced varying degrees of success. With the show’s fifth season now waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen what vocal joys and horrors await viewers this time. 

Unfortunately, Canadian Idol always takes a backseat to its American counterpart. This summer, the show will also have to share a good deal of CTV’s reality-TV-show spotlight. The network has two new American reality shows on its docket – a filmmaking contest called On the Lot (premiering Tuesday) and a swashbuckling adventure game called Pirate Master (due May 31).

Maybe Canadian Idol could use its own Sanjaya movement to help spice things up a bit this summer. Stay tuned.

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