Posts Tagged ‘American Idol’

Mother Hen Poses a Question

 Lady GaGa (on American Idol) and Cruella Deville  

 Separated at Birth????

                                     

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The “Next Big Thing”

 Naturally, Mother Hen is a little bit country, but she is also more than a little bit rock and roll, baby!

In fact, MH appreciates a wide variety of musical styles, although she does have a strict policy on quality control, which Missy Hen and Junior Rooster have not yet come to appreciate.  Snoop Hoggy Hog has no business fouling up the Coop, thank you very much!

In all genres of music a phenomenon occurs regularly that has bemused MH for…let’s not mention how many years.  Periodically the media ponders the profound question: who will be the “next big thing?”

Fair enough. After all, a huge amount of time, effort and cash goes into seeking out fresh talent (hello, American Idol!) despite the incredible proliferation of the untalented (American Idol, again). Finding the goose that might potentially lay that golden album is an incredible challenge given the large number of folks with at least one tin ear apiece.

What gives Mother Hen the chuckles are the vast number of chuckleheads who think that the next big thing will look a lot like the last big thing.

Let us take a little wander through modern musical history, shall we?

Having searched for the next Frank Sinatra, how astonished the scouts must have been to find out his name was Elvis. While everyone was looking for a sophisticated crooner, instead the next big thing was a hillbilly singing rock and roll like he was born in Harlem. Go figure.

While everyone was wondering who could ever fill Mr. Presley’s shoes, how startled were the experts when” he” turned out to be a “they”? The Beatles blew in from the UK in the 60s on the wave of the British Invasion (since every talent-seeking exec promptly boarded the earliest flight over the pond to find “the next Beatles”), but surpassed all the other subjects of Her Majesty thanks to the combined songwriting genius of Lennon and McCartney.

Well, who on earth could follow the lads from Liverpool, really? Surely not some rhinestone rocker with foot-high platforms who swung both ways? Nobody saw Elton John coming, though in retrospect with those outfits how could we all have missed him? (Mother Hen was particularly fond of his feather couture.)  Attention-getting costumes aside, Sir Elton’s tunes, both fun and thoughtful, sometimes simultaneously, have ruled the airwaves for four decades.

Nor were any of us thinking that a pint-sized kiddie leading a band of brothers would grow up to be the King of Pop.  Michael Jackson had been there all along, yet he burst on the scene with a fresh approach to the Motown sound and music videos as if he’d come out of nowhere. MJ’s Thriller and military-style jackets, glitter glove and Moonwalk became iconic, and though the controversy surrounding his later years overshadowed his brilliance for a time, his music has profoundly impacted the world.

So where was the next great man of music to emerge? Although the subject of one’s sexual identity and remarkable fashion choices remained a constant, he turned out to be a she. Madonna shocked her way onto the charts in the 80s with provocative outfits, a “women power” message and her love/hate relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

Honestly, who would have expected that after these flamboyant acts, a rapper, a white rapper called Eminem, with his hoodies and knit hats and dark looks, would become a superstar? For that matter, was anyone figuring that rap and hip-hop would be the new major genre to change the music industry?  Talking crossed with poetry combined with singing has changed the way even artists of other genres record and perform. Frankly, rap is not Mother Hen’s cup of tea, but that rude man who interrupted Taylor Swift appears to be quite talented. Pity!

Glam and controversy have been revived by the latest phenom, a bizarre but incredibly gifted woman who took on the moniker Lady Gaga. Her peculiar risqué ensembles defy description, while her music pulsates and sparkles like a disco glitter ball. Leading the industry’s charge back into dance tunes, her recordings are more complex and layered than the hits of the 70s. Gaga could never have been foreseen. She could only have been discovered.

Now that our little whirlwind tour is up-to-date, can’t you see the futility of scouring the world for the next Lady Gaga or Madonna or the Beatles or Elvis? Pointless!

Talent comes in all shapes, sizes, genders and formats, fortunately. The next big thing will look nothing like the last big thing, and if that means no more meat dresses, Mother Hen is absolutely fine with that!

Judging the Judges: American Idol Gets the Mother Hen Treatment

Although she is a Canadian chick Mother Hen is a longtime fan of American Idol. Since Canadian Idol bit the snow (not dust) a couple of years ago, she has to get her Idol fix from the States. Such is the condition of entertainment in the Great White North!

There has been a lot of sniveling on the Internet over the departure of Simon Cowell from AI.

“It’s just not the same.”

“Nobody tells it the way it is like Simon.”

“It just isn’t Idol without him!”

Oh, quit your whining, you big babies! The judge you loved to hate would tell you to suck it up and get on with it as well. Simon may have been stuck on himself, but at least he was a realist.

Mother Hen will now set the record straight on how the new panel is performing.

Steven Tyler A-

Well, burn my britches and call me Skippy – American Idol done gone and got themselves a real, honest-to-goodness rock star! It’s official, folks: AI finally got the message that Americans actually like rock and roll! Maybe Elvis isn’t dead after all.

Surprisingly, neither is Mr. Tyler, and, yes, that is a good thing. After spending the better portion of his years on earth swilling, snorting, and shooting up, he is as sober as a judge, or at least an AI judge.

He is also hilarious. Whether he is lifting his shirt and comparing abs with Randy, providing contestants with percussion and backup vocals, or doing deadpan reviews full of insincere compliments, ST has injected (okay, pun intended) the show with great energy and fun.

One definite drawback is Mr. Tyler’s penchant for flirting with every attractive chicklet who sashays across the stage. Note to ST: You may have been a sex god in your day, but you are now 62 and a grandfather. Get over yourself and quit drooling.

Mother Hen realizes that she should subtract points for the nasty f-bombs that Mr. T. regularly chucks into the dialogue, but the cussing is never malicious and after all, is bleeped out.  Between that and how astonished he looks that the F word isn’t acceptable on family TV, for now MT will let him off with a warning.

Jennifer Lopez  A

Ms. J. Lo is a younger, classier and more credible version of the dearly departed Ms. Abdul.* Her initial reluctance to utter the word “No” has gradually faded, and she is showing a capacity for delivering firm but sympathetic “nadas.” When Ms. Lopez’s large Bambi eyes fill with tears, as they are wont to do, it is touching, not cloying and annoying. She truly seems sincere.

Ms. Lopez also has an effortless stage presence that is refreshing. She doesn’t feel the need to try too hard, unlike certain female judges of the past who shall remain nameless (because we all know who they are anyway). Managing to be a celebrity without being a diva is an art form, and Ms. Jenny seems to understand that the real stars of the show are in front of the judges’ table, not behind it.

Mother Hen likes her. Yes, indeedy, she does!

*Yes, Ms. Paula is still alive. Her new TV show? Not so much.

Randy Jackson B+

As the only known quantity left on the American Idol panel, Mr. Jackson should be a comfortably predictable presence for the audience…but it seems to Mother Hen that “The Dawg” is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis this year. No longer the hippest or most qualified judge, Mr. Randy appears to be settling into the traditional role of the man on the right: the meanest. Apparently he has been hanging around Mr. Cowell too long.

Now don’t misunderstand Mother H. Nobody is about to take the title of cruelest man on AI away from Mr. Cowell – not a chance! Still, when she hears proclamations of “Terrible!” and “That was just awful!” coming from that side of the screen, MH misses the lovable guy who used to sit on the left.  Even if he returned to, “I don’t know, dude. It was all over the place for me, man,” it would be an improvement.

Honestly, American Idol doesn’t need a resident meanie. No one could pull off a Simon but Mr. Simon himself, so why try? We still love you, Dawg – just be yourself and it’ll be cool!

The Team

As a group, this panel clicks. There is no tension or underlying hostility. The mood is lighter, and when the judges have more fun, so do we.

Rejected contestants still cry or complain or give the camera the finger. They still think they are the best thing since scrambled eggs and will never give up, no matter what anyone says. One thing is different.  As they rampage out the door, unsuccessful candidates can no longer demonize a certain critical judge. The new panelists are all pretty darn likeable, and that, dear chicks, is a very good thing.