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Andrew Payne Andrew Payne
Starpulse Contributing Writer
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'American Idol' Recap: Selecting The Final 30

2/13/2014 8:22am EST
'American Idol' Selecting the Final 30
Last night, we finally got to really get to know the contestants that we'll be following for the rest of the 'Idol' season and got our first dose of the top thirty.

The producers also promised No More Mr. Nice Guy with regards to Harry as he yelled at everyone who complained about being sick. Then he went back to being nice for the whole episode. Oh well. At least we got a visit from Randy Jackson!

Thought last night's episode was really about the contestants as the judges made decisions on who would move on to the live shows and who would get sent home.

So let's go all Clash on last nig...

'American Idol' Recap: The Pitfalls Of Group Week

2/7/2014 8:26am EST
'American Idol' Recap: The Pitfalls Of Group Week
Last night was the night when 'American Idol' bizarrely transforms into 'The Sing-Off'.

'American Idol' is a solo performance show, an individual competition where the judges seek to find the best contestant to become a pop star. So, of course, they make these solo artists sing together in a group in order to determine who should move on. The obvious choice.

This exercise has never made much sense. Actually, it used to make a lot of sense: It was a perfect excuse to inject the artificial reality show drama of the behind-the-scenes elements of group week into the show for a fun little dist...

'American Idol' Recap: Who Gets To Go To Hollywood Part 1

2/6/2014 10:40am EST
Contestants compete in the all-new
Last night this brand new 'Idol' started to resemble its old self.

That isn't to say the show was completely without change. Of course the producers can't help but throw a few new little oddities into the mix just to show they're trying.

The first change was just a complete waste of time. Before the Hollywood Week festivities could really begin, the judges forced the contestants to sing in a giant airplane hangar while they decided if a few were worthy or if they just made a mistake.

This was ridiculous for a couple of reasons. First, the idea that the judges actually remember a single c...

'American Idol' Recap: The Auditions Finally End - In Omaha

1/31/2014 1:45pm EST
Omaha Auditions: Contestant Tessa Kate
Watching 'Idol' is starting to make me feel like Regina George in 'Mean Girls': "'Idol', stop trying to make 'The Chamber' happen. It's not going to happen."

Yes, like every Thursday audition show this season, last night's episode led off with yet another reminder that contestants have to take an elevator up to the audition room as though that's such a tough task. Wouldn't having to take the stairs be a much more arduous task than standing in a box that lifts you up without walking?

Which really can't help but cause me to wonder, what would be more exciting than 'The Chamber'?

"The Raft"...

'American Idol' Recap: The Auditions Go To New Lows In Salt Lake City

1/30/2014 3:09pm EST
'American Idol' Recap: The Auditions Go To New Lows In Salt Lake
"This show isn't cast like some other shows."

With that, J-Lo really shot a direct volley at the reigning champ of singing shows 'The Voice', a series that has absolutely no undiscovered talent on it despite its conceit otherwise. That's what makes 'Idol' so much different, better, and more fun than that other show.

So where did it go? Where did that fun disappear to? The talent on this show may as well all be ringers. Last night, there may have been a total of about 15 auditions in two hours. 15 full rounds of singing in as many commercial breaks. Maybe two really bad auditions, the rest...

'American Idol' Atlanta Recap: Enter The Chamber To Nowhere

1/24/2014 10:11am EST
Atlanta Auditions: Contestant Majesty Rose auditions
The Chamber. The Chamber! This season 'Idol' has the Chamber! It's so exciting.

Well, actually it's an elevator. It goes up into a room. There's really nothing to it. It's not even that small. It's an elevator. Certainly not the portal to rocketship stardom or whatever Keith called it in this abbreviated show.

It's sad when you have to pretend things are entertaining and exciting to represent the idea of it. Rather than have actual fun on the show, this season, it's just an hour of bland with only a small elevator to take us up.

Speaking of small and abbreviated, let's get to this week's...

'American Idol' Recap: Not So Real In Detroit

1/23/2014 9:01am EST
Keri Lynn auditions in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL
This year, 'American Idol' is filling the lower half of its screen with the hashtag #ThisIsReal. It's unclear what that's supposed to mean. Yes, this is a reality show, but we knew that already. To me, it seems like it should be a slight at 'The Voice'. Where that NBC show isn't real at all (every single "unknown" on that show is actually pulled from a database of "undiscovered talent" of people who are nearly in the industry and everybody knows is good already), 'Idol' sets itself apart from that show by giving us the good with the bad and actual unknowns who come obscurity to chase their ...

'American Idol' Recap: The Show Is Just One Big Commercial

1/17/2014 8:43am EST
American Idol - Contestant David Luning
I tuned in for an 'American Idol' commercial and suddenly a singing competition show broke out.

'American Idol', so far this season, has become way too obsessed with itself. It's a living, breathing advertisement for a show we're already watching. At this point we've come to expect the onscreen hashtags, the product placement and the logos everywhere, but why does the show have to keep incessantly talking about itself?

First, there's the promos for the chamber. Ooo...The Chamber! So scary. It's like being in an elevator for a one-story trip. Wait, that's because that's what it is. Do we r...

'American Idol' Recap: New Judges Means A New Show

1/16/2014 9:06am EST
American Idol
13 Years in and suddenly 'Idol' seems like it's playing catch-up.

In what it's hoping isn't its unlucky thirteenth season, 'American Idol' attempted yet another reinvention last night, veering farther away from the snide formula that made it such a breakout success all those summers ago. Gone is the ridicule, the delight at disaster and general amateur nature of the show. Instead, it's mostly good contestants and enough sob/inspiration stories to fill a week's worth of Olympics coverage.

Even worse than that, we're getting to know the contestants before they even sing a bar. Banter abound...

'The X Factor' Finds Its Season 3 Winner: Alex & Sierra

12/20/2013 8:25am EST
THE X FACTOR: Finale: Simon Cowell and winners of THE X FACTOR A
'The X Factor' ended one of the worst seasons in singing competition show history with an appropriately awful finale.

Time was, these finales were something of a party. An event that rivaled trophy shows like The Grammys and Oscars with a cavalcade of big guests and enough excitement and tension to actually fill the entire two hours. Now these are shows that Kesha can't even make the time to attend.

Look at the lineup last night. One Direction and Leona Lewis are locks because they were created by this show and have to pay their tributes so let's not count them as gets. Beyond that it's P...