Sunday, January 21, 2007

Idolatry

I'm not a big fan of American Idol. I don't hate it or anything, I can just think of better things to watch.

This season I did happen to be watching one episode with some friend. A young woman chose a "Jewel" song for her audition. Her performance wasn't good, but we all agreed she did sound an awful lot like Jewel. This turned this discussion among us to Stars who might not cut it on American Idol.

Face it, some of our most famous singers could bang out a live version of "Yankee Doodle" and make it sound incredible- Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Beyonce-voices like theirs are indisputably great.

In a lot of cases though, "the song makes the singer". There are instances where you could pretty much take anyone who could carry a tune, put them in a studio, and with a little digital magic, you'd still have a best-selling recording, because it would be the song people loved, not the voice behind it.

Imagine for a second: What if one of the Bee Gees was trying to get his start on Idol? There are quite a few of the most successful singers who made it with less-than-sensational voices. Barry Manilow made millions with his music, but would he cut it with Simon Cowell if he were doing his acapella audition in that little room?

Here are the lists we came up with:



The "Wouldn't Make It's"
We didn't think any of these people would make it past a round or two:

  • The Bee Gees

  • Billy Joel

  • Justin Timberlake

  • Britney Spears

  • Ashlee Simpson

  • Janet Jackson

  • John Mayer

  • James Blunt

  • Billie Joe Armstong (Lead singer of Green Day)

  • Jewel
  • I argued hard on this one, because I love Jewel!
     
    Potential Winners
    We decided that these folks would have a pretty good chance in the competition:

  • Mariah Carey

  • Beyonce Knowles

  • Jessica Simpson

  • Celine Dion

  • Nellie Furtado

  • Sheryl Crow


  • This debate was actually kind of fun, because of course there are millions of singers who could fit either category. What would have happened to Ethel Merman or Kate Smith, who were superstars in their day? How about Louie Armstrong or Al Jolson, who made millions in their careers? What would they do with Eminem? Would Rappers even be allowed to compete? They don't really sing, right? Or do they? And we mulled over a few other voices who have hit it big, at least money-wise, but whom we couldn't really make a decision about: Hilary Duff, Nick Lachey, Adam Duritz (Counting Crows). It was fun once we got started on this, and the discussion went on a while.

    So, who would you add to each list?

    12 comments:

    1. How about Mick Jagger? Would he have been able to get by Simon? I doubt it.

      I think Elvis would have been a winner, maybe not with Simon, but with the call-ins because he had a way with the girls, if it had been set in the 60's that is.

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    2. I agree THE SONG makes the singer, in most cases the singer is also the songwriter, & they develop their own style. It just doesn't take a beautiful voice, if they are also talented in creating music & lyrics, have a certain style, then they are sure to make it in the business. Celine Dion has a style along with an incredible voice.
      I really do not care for Amercian Idol, yes they do find some talented people & yes, I know these contestants know what they are in for...but, I can't watch someone humiliate someone & laugh about it, reminds me of the our high school days where the popular people make fun of the nerds. They are just rich adult bullies, a lot like Trump.
      We wonder why there are killings in the schools, today.....The people of this country watch this show & make it popular, so who is to blame for these shows, that humiliate people ????
      Marie

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    3. Anonymous1:40 PM

      Okay, I have three for you. I loved Johnny Cash, but I doubt he'd get past Simon. Another would be Paul Simon. Not much expression in his voice either. One person I never understood is Frank Sinatra. I mean he was flat. How is he such a legend?
      Jude
      http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

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    4. I've always thought along these lines Jimmy! I've often wondered what Simon Cowell would have made of Bob Dylan!! There must be many more out there but Dylan just stands out in my mind as a prime example! Jeannette xx

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    5. For me, I don't think these people would make it past the judges, especially Simon since he's always harping on appearances:

      Stephen Tyler (or is he a Steven?)
      Prince
      CCR (!)
      Elvis (Older version, of course!)
      Freddie Mercury
      Elton John (in the 70's!)
      The Beatles (I'd have just died!)
      Cher
      Madonna
      Bob Seger (who I still adore today)
      Ray Charles

      That's my Idol-reject list...

      Kitty out~

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    6. Anonymous3:51 PM

      I disagree I think John Mayer and Justin would get past him. The others no. Christina Aguilera would make it she has a fantastic voice. Ly Cass

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    7. I think a lot of the 80s bands/artists would not have made it past Simon--even Paula Abdul herself. (Don't get me wrong, I love 80s music.) It's just very different from today's music. Marilyn Manson (sp?) would have scared the crap out of all three judges.

      I personally love American Idol. I'm an addict. I even vote. And even though Simon's a little callous, I think he's hilarious. In reference to a previous comment, I'd blame video games and rated 'R' movies (among other things) for current violence trends before I blamed Simon.

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    8. Anonymous10:49 PM

      i was surprized when you said you were turning off ai...because of jewel!
      i have to agree though how many people would not be making cds if they had to go by judges like ai's lol
      i still find it funny to watch how pathetic some people are on that show! then i have to laugh at others.
      but i have no life and i tape this stuff so i can watch other things and when i'm really bored i watch that lol

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    9. Your American Idol is the same thing as our X Factor, almost. Sharon Osbourne is one of our judges, I've often wondered what they'd think of Ozzy if he'd turned up at one of the auditions! Would he of even made it past security?!
      Sara x

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    10. Anonymous8:02 PM

      What about Melanie and her song "Brand New Key". It was so shril. I think Simon would have loved her looks but laughed her completely off the stage.

      Sharlene

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    11. Christina makes it Beyonce doesn't. Looks fabulous, but she does a whole lot of hollering. What about Tom Jones?

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    12. Actually, I think that Bob Dylan and Tom Petty would be rejected. I think Elvis would have been the biggest Idol in history. He WAS the American Idol!

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