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November 30, 2005

More on Idol

Couple of late notes from other sources on Idol.

I didn't watch the finale or the results, largely because I'm bored with Idol, but I got the following by e-mail after it:

Idols gave no respect
23 November 2005

I HAD the questionable privilege of being a guest at the Australian Idol telecast on Monday night at the Sydney Opera House. It consisted mostly of watching inane video footage of our young finalists' "Idol Journeys" on a large screen, somehow making the Opera House Concert Hall feel like some very wealthy friend's enormous loungeroom. However, the thing that appalled me most, as a professional musician, was the complete lack of acknowledgement for the band. Not one singer who performed turned around to thank music director John Foreman or any of the musicians present, many of whom are degree-qualified instrumentalists and very highly experienced performers in Australia and abroad. Determined to let the band know I appreciated their efforts, I made my way down to the official after-party only to discover that the band hadn't been invited. If the Idols want to be respected as valid performing artists, they could start by showing respect for their fellow performers.

Sally Whitwell
Sydney, NSW

Can't vouch for the fact that this was published anywhere (the headline brings up nothing in Google) but Sally Whitwell is a Sydney-based pianist of some note. If this is true, it's a screaming shame because the Idol band were about the only reason I would have watched the show more often. No matter whether the singer was choking or flying, the band was always faultless and cookin'.

If they were not paid their due respect, I'll boycott the show in future. Well played guys, hope to see you back next season!

Speaking of boycotts, themusic.com.au is quoting the AFR reporting that 6 of the biggest Idol sponsors have laid down the ratings law. "Six companies including Telstra, Mazda and L'Oreal, paid $3.6 million each to sponsor "Oz Idol 3" and, according to the AFR, were given free ads in other Ten shows to compensate for the drop in "Idol" viewers."

This is hardly a surprise, given the nature of these sponsorship deals. But it again reinforces to me the false consciousness of the dream industry - not only for the performers. So the show didn't live up to ratings expectations? That happens and that's the risk you take when you sign up for it. Of course, the need to improve for Australian Idol 4 does not need to be enunciated, no matter what spin Channel Ten puts on it ...

Again, the difference between TV entertainment hype and sustainable production.

Posted by Huge at November 30, 2005 9:46 AM

Yay for Sally!!! I don't watch it (I prefer to sit at the piano and sing rather than watch other people make a hash of good music - the quality of which is questionable at times) but that's ridiculous. As for not inviting the band to the afterparty...even at our school musicals the orchestra, band and backstage crew are invited to the afters - as a rule, not as an exception. Perhaps the Idol managers might like to take a leaf out of our SSC/SPC musical book and refrain from attending the Idol afterparty while issuing invites to leads, chorus, all other cast members, orchestra/band and backstage crew - and not conveniently 'forgetting' to invite the people who've put in a lot of hard work to make the singer look good in performance. Thanks Sally for bringing this up...it's appalling.

Claire Burrell-McDonald
Sydney, NSW.

Posted by: Claire at July 5, 2007 1:28 PM

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