2010 in Review: The Worst of Idol

Yesterday, I took at look at the best of Idol in 2010.

Today, the worst. And in 2010, it was more difficult narrowing down the worst than the best.

Yet to come this week: Best Idol albums of 2010 (Wednesday), best Idol songs of 2010 (Thursday) and best Idol videos of 2010 (Friday.)

So keep checking back.

Now, Idol’s worst of 2010 …


Nigel Lythgoe might be the only person on earth who thinks Idol won't miss Simon Cowell. (AP Photo)1. Simon Cowell leaves Idol

If Nigel Lythgoe thinks Idol will be better off without Simon, he was watching a different show than the rest of us for the past nine years. Sure, the show became too much about the judges at some point. But Simon’s critiques gave the show credibility. While Randy Jackson spouted what have become Randy Jackson cliches, while Paula raved about a contestant’s looks if there was nothing else good to say, it was Simon’s comments we waited to hear. OK, partly because they were rude. But also because he was right far more often than not and said what a lot of us sitting at home were thinking. Someone on the new panel had better fill that void.


Confetti falls as Lee DeWyze is announced as the American Idol winner. (FOX Photo)2. The wrong contestant wins again

Everyone listening objectively knows Crystal Bowersox outperformed Lee DeWyze in the Idol finale. Everyone who watched the show from start to finish knows she was the strongest contestant in season nine. Yet there she was, watching confetti fall on Lee DeWyze as the less-talented finalist won for the second straight season. In the same spot Adam Lambert was the year before. I told myself: “OK, maybe Lee’s the more commercial of the two.” Nope. His debut is a commercial bust. And “Farmer’s Daughter,” the title track on Crystal’s album, which was written pre-Idol, is better than anything on Lee’s post-Idol disc.


Fergie looked fine in snakeskin, but it was an off-kilter beginning to a bizarre Idol Gives Back episode. (AP Photo)3. Idol Gives Back

The 2010 edition was a bizarre, disjointed disaster. Oh, the videos of heartbreak and need, both here and abroad, were well done, as usual. The problem: They were juxtaposed with viagra jokes, cougar jokes, a phony phone bank comedy routine that wasn’t very funny, and only one former Idol (Carrie Underwood) as a guest performer. I knew we were in trouble when the show started with the Black Eyed Peas singing “Rock That Body” (wouldn’t “One Tribe” had been more fitting for the occasion?). Oh, Fergie looked fine in snakeskin, but the sound system wasn’t working properly, so it sounded like she and her mates were shouting into trash cans. Worse of all, this turkey of a show ran one-half hour over its allotted time slot.


Miley Cyrus ranks as the least talented "mentor" in Idol's nine seasons. (AP Photo)4. Miley Cyrus

Yep. Let’s not forget this Idol move we’d like to forget. It’s week two of the season nine finals. And whom does Idol trot out to mentor the hopefuls? That’s right, Miley. Who, at age 17, was younger than all but two of the contestants. And who proves with each passing live TV peformance that she CANNOT sing. Oh, well, I guess making millions with marginal singing ability is a talent, of sorts. And perhaps even fitting advice for some of the season nine cast. Still, this was Idol at its teen-pandering, let’s-do-anything-for-ratings worst.


With a forgettable 2010 behind him in terms of Idol success, Kris Allen ranks as a prime beneficiary of the cute boy Idol trend. (AP Photo)5. Cute Boy Idol

Well, that might as well be the name of the show, right? I mean, does anyone think a female has a chance of winning this thing after seeing what has happened the last three years. In those three years, a grand total of three females have cracked the top four. Crystal Bowersox became the first female to make the finals in three years, only to lose to a clearly inferior guy. And she was the only female to crack the top five. In fact, the first three contestants eliminated in season nine were gals. I blame part of that on voter folly during the semifinals, when Janell Wheeler, Lilly Scott and Katelyn Epperly were booted to the curb while Lacey Brown and Paige Miles advanced. I blame most of this trend on unlimited text voting. Until the voting method changes, gals need not dream of becoming the next Carrie Underwood. Because she certainly would have lost to Constantine Maroulis based on the way the voting is working these days.


Posted Monday: For the best of American Idol, 2010, go here.

Coming Wednesday: Best Idol albums released in 2010.


4 Responses to “2010 in Review: The Worst of Idol”

  1. Brian C says:

    I like how you conveniently ignored the fact that Crystal’s debut album was also a “commercial bust”. Biased much?

    BTW, Siobhan Magnus was actually the strongest contestant from season 9. Crystal isn’t even in the same league as Siobhan from a talent standpoint. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  2. Shala says:

    yeah…biased would be the correct word

  3. [...] blogs include the best of Idol in 2010, the worst of Idol in 2010 and the top 5 Idol albums of [...]

  4. [...] make sure to check out the other 2010 in Review blogs, including the Best of Idol, the Worst of Idol, the top albums of the year and the top songs of the [...]

  5. Vetle says:

    I do not agree about the Simon leaving part, or the part about Miley. I don’t think Miley was the worst mentor, she actually knows she’s not the best singer. I don’t like Miley the artist, but though she’s young, she knows the industry. She gave some of the contestant legitimate advice.

    About Simon, he’s been off his game for a LONG time. He’s stuck in the 80s/90s with the power singers, and not the singer songwriters. It didn’t really seem like he cared either.

  6. Lina says:

    I so agree with your comment about the wrong contestant winning again. This has happened so often on this show, that I never expect the best singer to win anymore. I noticed this first with Season 7, the far superior singer (David Archuleta) came in second to David Cook, then season 8 with Adam Lambert losing to Kris Allen. Now Crystal Bowersox second to Lee DeWyze. Really, America, really??? Have to say I agree with your other comments as well.

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