The Changing Face of the Reality Singing Competition.

american idol judging panel jlo steven tyler randy jackson

There was a time, ten or so years ago, when American, and then Australian Idol, hit our screens and was judged by washed-up middle-aged music industry big wigs, like Simon Cowell, Mark Holden, Ian “Dicko” Dickson and the token female on the panel, Marcia Hines and Paula Abdul. These judges were mostly respected, if unfamiliar to Idol’s target demographic. Apart from Abdul’s “Opposites Attract”, I wouldn’t have known any of them from a bar of soap.

Not only was this before Britney, J.Lo, Mariah et al. demanded millions to sit in the judging chair, but it was also prior to the influx of talent shows; reality shows in general, really. Now we have a myriad of Got Talent’s, The Voice, The X-Factor and the truckload of former and current stars it brings with it.

x factor australia judges

For every Britney and Christina, whose careers have been languishing in the pop wasteland for the last few years and could be helped by a judging role, there’s a Nicki Minaj, whose choice to judge the latest season of American Idol in the prime of her career baffles me. And we can’t forget Jennifer Lopez, who was the epitome of irrelevance prior to taking on the gig, and is now once again one of the highest earning performers in the industry (thanks, in no small part, to her franchise of perfumes), deservedly so, as I saw her in concert last year and she is the consummate performer. Closer to home, Guy Sebastian, a reality singing competition winner himself, had a sprinkling of top ten and number one hits in the last few years, but really hit the big time with the Eve and Lupe Fiasco collaborations, “Who’s That Girl?” and “Battle Scars”, respectively, released after his turn as a judge on The X Factor.

x factor judging panel britney spears demi lovato simon cowell

So the “expert” record industry execs have pretty much gone the way of Dicko, albeit with the mainstays Cowell (The X Factor in the U.S.), L.A. Reid (ditto) and Randy Jackson from the original series of Idol, to make way for younger, sexier and more relevant, sometimes with an overhaul in between each season. And then there’s just the question marks that were obviously hired ’cause everyone else turned them down: Demi Lovato, Khloe Kardashian (tenuous) and, arguably, Nicki Minaj.

I think the new season of Idol’s focus on the feud between Mariah Carey and Minaj hinders not only the show (it’s about the TALENT), but also Nicki’s career in the long run. 2012 was perhaps Minaj’s strongest year to date, with “Superbass” being certified platinum, and “Starships” dominating the airways. While she’s never had a number one hit on the U.S. Billboard charts, Minaj was infiltrating pop culture at warp speed, so to her it might have seemed logical to dominate reality television as well. But, to me, singing competition judging panels are the domain of has-beens; people who’ve been down a similar road and can offer advice on the highs and lows of stardom. Who knows? Maybe Minaj will be the one to change that.

What do you think? Do you long for the no-frills early days of Idol, or are you all for big names on the judging panel overshadowing the talent?

Images via People, Wikipedia, Digital Spy.

Magazines: Who Condemns Baby-Body Bullying…

… But when the celebs in question aren’t actually pregnant, it raises the skinny- vs. fat-shaming debate, and whether people in the public eye’s bodies should be public property, too.

Kudos to Nicole Richie, who has come out with this statement:

“To publicly point out a change in anyone’s body is mean-spirited and cruel.”

God knows Richie’s had her fair share of body-bashing in the media. You go, girl!

Khloe Kardashian is another celeb who’s wrestled with both her weight (being perceived as the “fat”, “ugly” sister in comparison to siblings Kim and Kourtney probably doesn’t help) and her struggle to get pregnant:

“The media makes me feel like I’m barren and why can’t you get pregnant? I am 26 years old… When it happens, it’s going to happen.”

American Idol winner Carrie Underwood goes on to say that, “When I wear something a little baggier, I’m like, nope, people are going to think I’m hiding something.”

I’d better stop going out in public in baggy jumpers and layered shirts, then! But thankfully, I’m not a celebrity whose body, actions and shopping list is scrutinised by all manner of media.

[Jezebel] Who Says There Has To Be An “Ugly Sister”?

Music Video: The Underlying Meaning in Adam Lambert’s “For Your Entertainment”.

Love Adam Lambert. Can’t get enough of him. Love “Whattaya Want From Me?”, his American Idol covers, especially The Miracles’ “The Tracks of My Tears”, and “For Your Entertainment”.

Because his first Australian single was “Whattaya Want From Me?” as opposed to “For Your Entertainment”, I wondered what happened to the latter; would we ever get to hear/see it on mainstream radio/television in Oz?

Luckily, it was released here as his latest single, and I have been blasting it on friends’ car radios the city over.

But it wasn’t until just the other day, with oxymorons on my mind, that I realised the grammatical error of its lyrics.

If someone is “here for your entertainment”, why are they professing that “it’s gonna get rough for you” and “can you handle it”?

Assuming that’s what the subject of song wants for their entertainment, that’s all well and good.

But perhaps they want it tender and gentle? (On a side note, from the public persona Lambert puts out there, I doubt someone who wants it tender and gentle would be involved with him!)

For my money, the song would make far more sense if instead of “Baby, I’m in control/Take the pain, take the pleasure/I’m the master of both” it read “Baby, you’re in control/I’ll take the pain, take the pleasure/You’re the master of both”. But that’s just me.

Now, for your entertainment, I’ve taken the liberty of copying the original lyrics juxtaposed against the lyrics that are playing over in my mind for you to compare:

On the other hand, the lyrics could simply be kept the same, with “I’m here for your entertainment” substituted for “You’re here for my entertainment”.

Or, we can just call the whole thing “oxymoronic”.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Bad Taste Foxymorons.

[The Early Bird Catches the Worm] Whipped Cream Feminism: The Underlying Message in Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” Video.