Nigel Lythgoe – Mr. Producer, If you Can’t Stand the Heat….
@dizzyfeet: “With over 25 million votes for Haley I was expecting disappointment from passionate people. I find it upsetting it creates personal hatred! … Jimmy played me a song for Haley’s record yesterday. Let’s hope all the people that are professing love buy it and give her a great start.”
@xenaPW “Oh dear Nigel, I am so sorry you are upset at the emotional responses of AI10 fans to James Durban’s followed by Haley’s departures. What were you expecting? Quiet candle lit vigils with plastic wrapped bouquets laid on the steps of the stage and accompanied by baroque chanting and silent prayers?”
Matt Carter TV Examiner ‘American Idol’: Haley Reinhart’s future teased by Nigel Lythgoe
American Idol’s strategy and tactics inevitably lead to this overwhelming emotional response. The drama focuses on millions of very young viewers to form personal bonds with their favourites. Back stories are designed to evoke strong emotional attachments, which the show needs and wants. The host overtly sets-up rivalries with moments such as the now immortal AI8 introduction “It’s between the guy next door and the guyliner”. If TV viewers had the power, Ryan Seacrest would have detonated to nothing but a small pile of ash at that moment.
This year the judges were either ridiculously fawning and cooing like new parents over the “babies” or criticizing others “for their own good”. Again, fans of each respond in kind. Look who’s left standing, the two who were nurtured in down filled nests, not tossed out early to learn to fly on their own. However, which of these young birds will survive the harsh realities of the ‘biz’? We know from years of Idol results that “Talent beats Title” in the long run and it is a rare bird indeed where both reside in one. No doubt the final two will be off to a great start but they are both still adolescents, total age about thirty.
When their personal favourite goes, the fans’ adrenaline kicks in and it’s not “flight” but “fight” that comes naturally in that moment of panic and frankly, they look for someone, something to blame. After all, they voted until their fingers bled and wore off their fingerprints only to be thwarted by some unseen hand.
This becomes a blessing and a curse for the “honchos” but I say “man up”! It’s a major competition with enormous stakes so you have to expect that the same passions fuelling the fandom necessary for a successful “winning” Idol, don’t just dissipate when a favourite is voted off. Ryan Seacrest seems very boastful when he announces some record-breaking number of votes cast, who do you think made that happen?
Even judges’ comments are taken personally.
So, please do not complain when fans react strongly to their perceived personal losses. What you encourage is a Guerilla Army of fans, not a sophisticated, analytical, obedient army led by Alexander the Great or Xena Princess Warrior for that matter.
Nigel, you might do well to re-read Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” ‘cause that ‘s what this is and the stakes are very high. It’s pride, personal pride in identifying and supporting a winner and when that’s dashed after all their effort, this leaderless army you inspire does not put down their weapons and turn the other cheek, they start tweeting in earnest, a veritable avalanche to bury you. Need a shovel?
You’re lucky they only use words.
The finale now smacks of the arranged marriage. Picture perfect couple, truly devoid of passion and dark emotions from which to draw when the music and lyrics demand them. So young, virginal in their pedigrees, ready to be molded by Svengali into the entertainer the market analysts have recommended. No worries about almost naked, gold-painted bodies in photos of kissin’ appearing from nowhere to break the aura, the spell of this almost immaculate conception.
Introducing – The Wedding Party!
Just don’t ask Haley to be Maid of Honour to the two wedding cake toppers.
Following “They lived happily ever after” tune in to our radio show at 10:30 pm est “From Idol to Gaga – Born This Way”