The folks at American Idol had an awful time in Chicago, and we the viewers paid the price for it. I know the show is largely manufactured, but the lack of memorable characters made this installment feel especially forced and dull. With only 13 golden tickets being given out over two days, the Chicago auditions really should have been combined with those of another city.
Now, nobody can seriously think that Simon, Randy, Kara and guest judge Shania Twain saw 12,000 people, yet they continue to present the episodes like that, with Ryan implying that these kids only show up once and they all get in to see the panel. In reality, the people that perform on television have already made it through a couple auditions with Idol producers. I think everyone knows this by now, but we still have to be subjected to all that "How did this guy even get in here?!" crap, and Ryan "wondering" if some of these people are "for real" or not. It's just so played-out.
Of course, if we'd seen some memorable characters like we did in Atlanta, the overly-familiar (and clearly designed) pattern of "After such-and-such many bad singers in a row, the judges were getting depressed - until little So-and-So walked in the door wouldn't be so tedious and glaring. Unfortunately, this was a pretty forgettable bunch. When one of your "lovable losers" is a guy doing an imitation of Tiny Tim, a novelty act whose cultural relevance peaked 40 years ago and whom at least half the show's audience has certainly never heard of well, you're in trouble.
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