Wednesday, 28 August 2013

At least Ryan Seacrest is still around.

So the auditions are over and the producers, if not the judges, 'cos no-one is too sure who they are yet, have chosen who we'll be seeing more of from the July and August auditions.

Spoilers aren't appearing in the usual places I find them yet but as soon as I do find something it will be published, with a warning, of course.

Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban seem more or less confirmed as judges with Scooter Braun hovering around. It's a brand new production team faced with pulling back what some say were 30% less profits in Season 12 than Season 11.

Something I have never understood was why Simon Cowell didn't develop the American Idol brand of which he was part and grow that instead of there being two competing shows. X Factor USA has worked and found some good people but generally, apart from giving groups an opportunity or rescuing some by putting them in a group, the format is pretty much the same. Identifying the differences is more suitable for a PhD thesis. Looking at how the public have loved the groups that have emerged - 1D, Fifth Harmony, Union J and Emblem3 all doing well at the time of writing - including a group facility in Idol wouldn't have been impossible.

So it seems reasonable that there would be some loss of revenue as advertisers either shift to X Factor USA or fees, based on potential audience, fall a bit. My guess is, though, that both companies are still making a handsome profit, just not as much as some greedier people may have desired. If the massive fees that some say were awarded to judges had been a little lower then the profits would have been higher too.

Nicki Minaj turned out to be an excellent judge of ability and fairly entertaining on screen but one season of her is probably enough. Mariah was really not good and very disappointing all round. And disappointingly all round too which may have appealed to a limited fan base but not music fans.

We're losing the dog, Randy Jackson. He had probably come to the end of his vocabulary anyway and was beginning to get very repetitive. He'll still be coaching performers, I read, in place of Jimmy Iovine who really should not be going but seems to have done. His advice was so good. He'll be missed in the background and also as a fearless foil to the judges' rambling on occasion.

Now, remind me who won... ah, yes, Candice Glover. Well, we've certainly heard a lot from her in the last few months, haven't we. No. In fact, none of the Live Show contenders have made much of a mark at all. That should be worrying someone somewhere. For now, I shall not pursue that line and put it down to their all being heavily involved in the Idol Tour and the stress of trying to keep calm when Lazaro Arbos gets the notes wrong or forgets the words.

I say bring back alumni like Adam Lambert and others who will not cost a fortune and could give great advice and also pull the show back to centre on the contestants. If Idol don't then there's an idea for you, Simon. Oh, you've brought Sharon Osbourne back for X Factor UK. And Louis. Right, that'll be nice and modern then. I can see why you're sticking with X Factor USA.