Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ellen In, Paula Out

Y'all didn't think I was going to let "Idol" news slip by without offering my opinion with all the buzz even though the season ended months ago.

First of all, let me be clear: Paula Abdul is not my favorite judge, that honor goes to Simon Cowell. My reveal tells you a little thing about me: tell me the truth regardless of how it stings. Simon does that very well and love him or hate him on Idol, he is the voice of reason - for the most part.

But Paula with all her oft-loopiness served a purpose: You also need someone who could be gentle especially when you're just a kid plucked from obscurity into a national limelight. I think Paula gets that because from being counted out from a young girl in ballet training to being a one-time multi-platinum pop diva, she knows the rigours. That's why I think it was wrong to let her walk away. It was wrong not paying her a comparable salary to the big boys club. It shows the fight many women still keep fighting in this country by being paid 77 cents to the guy's Dollar for the same job. Then the bombshell a couple of days ago: Ellen DeGeneres will replace Paula. Say what!

Second thing, I happen to like Ellen. I think she's adorable and I know she "performs" in front of millions each day but to JUDGE A SINGING COMPETITION? Come on! And granted Paula is no "accomplished" singer; face it, she ain't Whitney (Welcome back Ms. Houston). But she has sang and can recognize tone, pitch, melody, etc you need for music. I'll never forget a couple of seasons ago, Simon was ready to write off this female singer from the audition, and Randy was on the fence. Paula was the only one who stood for her saying she should try and sing a "Dolly Parton" song because it seems she has a voice like Dolly's. The problem was: This singer didn't know any Dolly Parton song. So they gave her some time while auditioning others to find and practice a "Dolly" song. She came back and nailed the audition, went to Hollywood.

Now do you think Ellen is going to figure that out? I don't know. And I get all the "voice of the people" reason Ellen gave when she announced the news because I judge those singers and I'm not in the music industry and most times I'm right and other times I'm wrong. But I still want the final word to be from an expert and that, Ellen is not. Do I think the experiment will work? I think so . . . like I said Ellen is adorable and people tune in for the most part to see someone get a shot at their dreams, even it's a pie-in-the-sky one for those who can't even carry a tune (another reason people watch).

Do I think Ellen's pick is a fair one? Nope! I think it's another dig at Paula saying she wasn't really a "singer." And that's my truth . . . coming from a fan of Simon's.

Tag: American Idol, Paula Abdul, Ellen DeGeneres