Finally caught the "American Idol Experience" show at DHS today. Saw the final show, where 7 contestants worked it for the audience for a chance to win a chance to audition for the real AI staff next season.
Let me jump to the end of my review in case you don't care to read that much.. I enjoyed the show. It was not as horrible as I expected it to be.
They did a nice job recreating the show's "live" dinamics, and I felt like I was a part of the real thing, or at least came out of it with an idea of what it would be like to be in the audience for the real show in Hollywood.
However, allow me to tell you right away what I didn't like: The cast doing the show. They are not the same as watching Paula, Randy, Simon, or even the sisterhood Ryan Seacrest do their thing like they do on TV.
I found the guy roaming with the camera in the preshow area to be annoying beyond belief, but not because he wasn't good at what he did, but mostly because he wasn't that appealing to watch. Same for the faux judges during the show. Their commentary and opinions may appear to be honest (and probably some of those comments were) but the guy playing Simon ... well, everything he said appeared to be scripted, and worst.. they were bad bad bad "mean spirited" comment/jokes. That was a major turn off for me.
So can I recommend the AIE show? Not sure. I think it may depend on the particular cast doing this show on any given moment, but the cast tonight was simply horrible. Even the host of the show this evening, who looked like Jonathan Silverman, was stumbling badly with his words.. and at one point even turned around to the audience and said.. "I dunno what's happening to me today.. jada jada, I can't talk at all!". I can tell you what's wrong with you dear.. You aren't that good an actor.
Now, the "talent". I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the so-called contestants this evening. (Again, you may have a different opinion on the show based on who actually makes it on the stage) However, I was also unpleasantly uncomfortable by the fact that a couple of the people on the stage appeared a bit familiar.. as in Disney CM type-familiar? Not saying that Disney may be passing real CMs as park guest contestants here.. but the whole thing had a fake fake fake feel to it. But again, I may be wrong. Some or all of them contestants could be bonafide real park guests. Hard to tell, but oh this nagging feeling I had...
Anyways.. some of them were good and some of them were adecuate. Lucky for me, none of these contestants turned out to be horribly bad like that Hung guy singing "She bangs". Some chose good songs and some chose difficult songs, but they all did ok. In the end, the winner turned out to be an older gentleman, whose family (wife and teenage children) were sitting in the audience. This guy chose a good soulful song that the audience enjoyed clapping along.. mind you he was an adecuate "karaoke dad". In the end.. yes, he won. Taking away the price from the young gal who tackled Mulan's "Reflections" theme song, a most difficult dive tune to carry and she did it quite well, so that gal got robbed.
Reality check here: the guy who won is too old to audition for the real American Idol show.. so I wonder what that "Golden Ticket to the front of the audition line" will serve him for... Maybe he will be given some pin or some consolation price to make up for that little "ooopsy" situation?
TO end this short long overdue review.. if you are a fan of "American Idol", you may enjoy this a lot. Me? The only enjoyment I got from it was the technical aspects of it... such as looking at the set, which is flashy and looks like the real thing, complete with those back-free stools off to the left of the stage. The plasma screens all over the theater are nice and seeing past American Idol winners and finalists was probably the most fun aspect of the show for me. (wow! Justin has a new gig as a commentator!/ Archuletta needs to come out and become a huge techno dance music singer.)
Other than that, I have no reason to submit myself to yet another round of this show, and most probably never will see this again.
Oh! couple more things... I honestly believe they need to cut back on the number of shows they do daily... like to a max of 5 shows, and only have a maximum of 5 contestants for the final round at the end of the day. This evening it was 7 finalists... and trust me, by the 4th person, I was ready to leave. Some people appeared to agree and DID leave the theater. This particular final round show lasted nearly 50 minutes. People with small children or babies were the majority of those who got up and left before the show ended. Be warned... keep very small children outside, and if you are not a fan, do the rest of the audience a favor and do not bother seeing this, that way, you will not bother others who do enjoy the show when you cut thru the long aisles of chairs to get out of the theated.
TDLFAN gives "American Idol Experience" just 2 and 1/2 stars out of 5. It's just an "ok" in my book.