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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • The Farr Side: Several new features for ‘Idol’ Season 13

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  • “American Idol” Season 13 is in full swing, and I’m loving the chemistry of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr.
    Viewership was down at the beginning of the season, but that was before people truly gave the current judging lineup a chance. Perhaps America still has a bad taste in their mouths from the last year’s judging feud between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
    I believe Lopez’s return to the panel was a good move. She’s a natural fit. Urban proved himself as judge last season, plus he survived sitting next to Minaj. But it’s Harry Connick Jr. who has people talking.
    Connick has been a guest mentor on “Idol” several times, but now that he’s an official judge, we see the real thing. Those who miss Simon Cowell’s brutal honesty can appreciate Connick’s truthful critique.
    During auditions for season 13, we got to see Connick, Lopez and Urban in action. First, the camaraderie was great. Secondly, Connick surprised everyone with his charm and quick wit. Lastly, the talent pool was amazing. You knew by seeing those who earned golden tickets that Hollywood Week was going to be awesome.
    Ratings have steadily improved if you don’t count the Olympics, but I think success is due in part to Connick.
    A crazy amount of talent that made it to Hollywood had to get past Connick, Lopez and Urban first. More than 200 have golden tickets. With so many good singers, several good ones would had to be sent home.
    I love the idea that once they got off the plane, someone had to start singing. That was a change for the show, and a good one. It kept things fresh, plus those wanting to be the next Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood had to be on their toes.
    Those who didn’t sing right away saw their fate sealed the next day in front of the judges. Talk about pressure! The remaining contestants were divided into three groups where one knew they made it to compete again while the other two groups were put on buses that would determine their dreams. Obviously, one bus was going back to the hotel, while the other was headed to the airport. Again, that’s another new feature for the show. It was riveting to watch, as no one on the bus knew the outcome until one turned off an exit for the airport.
    The judging rounds, including the dreaded group formations, had narrowed the list of 200 down to 31. Judges couldn’t decided between two last male singers to round out a top 30, so it became up to America to decide. This, again, was a new move for “Idol.”
    I’m excited to see Michigan well-represented, with contestants from Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Flint and Detroit. Could the next “American Idol” come from Michigan? I’d like to think so.
    Page 2 of 2 - David T. Farr is a Sturgis, Mich., Journal correspondent. Email him at farrboy@hotmail.com. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.

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