Let’s judge ‘American Idol’ for its own glitchy, if not pitchy, performance

If you ran the highest-rated show on TV, and you’d had months to prepare, you’d probably get things right, right? Well, American Idol did no such thing in a glitchy telecast Tuesday night for the opening round of live, public-voter competition.

For one thing, the people in the holding area with Ryan — family, friends and contestants — weren’t properly mic’d. You often could barely hear them. This happened repeatedly.

For another, the technical crew cut to the wrong tape for one contestant, forcing Ryan to make an impromptu dash to re-create his back-story, which finally appeared belatedly.

Nor were cameras aligned properly to catch contestants meeting family as they returned from the stage. In staging terms, there were too many poorly “blocked” shots.

Now, I know the important thing is the singers — oh, and how hot/cute/likable they are. But really, this show is big-time, at least as a ratings juggernaut, and it’s a show which asserts itself and its judges as being knowledgeable and authoritative while applying heat to lesser contestants.

Well, if you can dish it out, you should take it. And if Idol itself were being judged for its telecast snafus Tuesday night, I’d say, in judges-speak, “You not only picked the wrong song (the monotonous half-hearted criticism of judges too gutless to point out inherent vocal and performance flaws) but you botched it — badly.”


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