Entertainment behind the scenes
“American Idol” bid an unsurprising farewell to Texan Michael Sarver on Thursday night, but what might have surprised fans of the popular singing competition this week was the revelation that their Idols lip-synch during their group numbers.
The admission by an “Idol” spokesman, which first appeared in a story in the New York Times on Wednesday, was sure to leave some die-hard fans scratching their heads. Isn’t this show, after all, all about the singing? And if it’s okay in the group numbers, will it one day be okay in the individual performances?
Or, are our poor Idols so overworked with rehearsals, trips to Motown, Ford commercial shoots and meetings with celebrity mentors that they can be let off the hook for a bit of singing over pre-recorded tracks? After all, the group numbers are widely regarded as little more than filler during the hour-long elimination shows and are arguably among the series’ least enthralling segments.
The contestants appeared to sing along to a recorded track again during their group “Motown medley” on Thursday, with some words seeming to not quite match up.
Well, they’re the experts and on Wednesday night it was male contestant Adam Lambert who brought the heat, eliciting a standing ovation from celebrity mentor Smokey Robinson for his version of “The Tracks of My Tears” (which, incidentally, Robinson also wrote).
Now that “American Idol” has eliminated the dross, it has 13 top contestants and the reality singing competition is in full swing.
What that means is the judges get more hyperbolic about how seriously everyone has to take the competition, and the video packages on the contestants get more personal, taking viewers into their homes and giving mini biographies on each one.
A lot of contestants went home unhappy in the show’s first voter-driven elimination round. In past seasons, 24 contestants competed for votes. But the cast was expanded to 36 this season with nine contestants eliminated in each of three opening rounds of 12 contestants. Then, another three contestants will be brought back to the show as wildcards. Aside from some complicated math, the show’s new format also means numerous contestants are eliminated early on, just as viewers are starting to get to know them.