And what a year it was!
Admittedly, I have a bit of an addiction to reality TV singing competition shows. I watch American Idol, The Voice (which I do not cover on the blog), Eurovision finals, and both X Factor UK and US. I dabbled in The Voice UK this year but will probably cover it extensively on SLLS next year, because it’s so much fun.
Since I can’t even remember the name of the person who won The Voice this spring, we will keep it to these two.
Phillip Phillips, American Idol‘s winner whose first single “Home” was everywhere. EVERYWHERE (at the Olympics, in several commercials, at the mall). I don’t hate it as much as the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes song of the same name but I’m getting there.
It’s not just because he was my favorite, but X Factor UK‘s James Arthur could really be huge in the UK. Bigger than the show’s last WGWG winner, Matt Cardle from 2010, who left SyCo this year in order to distance himself from X Factor. James’ winner’s single, a cover of Shontelle’s “Impossible” is the fast-selling single in the UK in 2012.
I also think Cassadee (The Voice) and Skylar (Idol) will show up on the American charts in the next year.
Best in judges’ extracurricular activities
I’ve really come around on Tulisa’s song “Young.” It is such a good piece of pop music.
I loved seeing Gary Barlow getting some worldwide facetime with Take That during the closing ceremony of the Olympics.
Worst in judges’ extracurricular activities
Whatever Gary and Cheryl Cole did at the Queen’s Jubilee. Music?
Christina Aguilera’s new record, Lotus. Unlike J Lo, being a judge is not reviving her singing career. Maybe it’s because she’s coming off as a giant bitch?
Britney, is this supposed to help your career? Talking in a fake British accent? Was Cheryl Cole too busy to help her mentor? Weirdly, this has twice as many views on You Tube Tulisa’s “Young.”
Worst dressed/worst tan/worst boobs/worst makeup/worst attitude
Christina Aguilera. Every reality show needs a villain and I feel bad that it’s her but, girl, I would hate you less if you stopped dressing like a clown at a bachelorette party.
Rylan, of course. He also gets best shoes of all time for these:
Best in festive jumpers
Union J took to Daybreak to announce their record deal yesterday morning, wearing some pleasantly non-tacky Christmas sweaters. I see my favorite, Jaymi, is still the group spokesperson. He is my precious jewel.
Jennifer Lopez is wearing Lanvin here. LANVIN. I will miss her amazing couture and perfect hair and makeup on the next season of American Idol. Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj cannot even come close to J Lo’s loveliness.
Also, no J Lo on Idol means no more regular “HOLA LOVERS!” posts on Go Fug Yourself. The tears, they are real.
Most upsetting loss/elimination
Skylar Laine, who Katie and I rooted so hard for on Idol. I loved her personality, her big voice and her ability to make every song fit her genre in a refreshing way. She’s working on new material! [Seriously new material I might die…no one on X Factor USA this season came close to how much I love this girl!-K]
I’m still sad that Juliet Simms did not win The Voice this spring. CeeLo gave her so many shitty songs to sing, though, and it really hurt her.
Ella getting kicked off X Factor is still painful, but thankfully, she announced that she signed to Sony this week! Congrats, lady! I keep cutting my hair shorter but seeing this photo makes me want a beehive.
This season on The Voice, my favorites De’Borah and Amanda Brown (with Ne-Yo here, one of my favorite performances all season) were gone way too soon, and sadly, only one can be blamed on Xtina.
OK, he finished in 7th place, and I could never get behind his questionable taste in lady blouses, but I love how conscientious Colton Dixon was about Idol. He knew this shit was a game and he was playing to win. This exit interview with TV Line turned me completely around on him: he was no longer a boring Christian artist but a shrewd gameplayer who should have auditioned for Big Brother.
Worst live show talent pool
Oh man, I have never hated 13 artists more than I hated the finalists for X Factor US. Even my love of Jason Brock, Lyric145 and Emblem3’s shoulders couldn’t overcome my hatred of noted Broadway robot Carly Rose Sonenclar.
Least successful judges
Tulisa, whose longest lasting contestant finished in 6th place. She did have a strong group, but Lucy quit and Jade was sick, which affected her performances. There was a spark missing from Tulisa this season. She didn’t seem as excited as she did with Little Mix. She just seemed like she’d rather be doing something else.
Christina Aguilera, who picks the worst teams. In the spring her opera-loving Chris made the final but failed to generate any buzz or interest. In the fall, with her own decision not to keep fan favorite De’Borah, she killed any goodwill the public felt towards her, and they swiftly knocked off her three contestants, leading her to throw all her weight behind BFF Blake Shelton’s team.
They are everywhere
One Direction have definitely benefited from X Factor’s obsession with their own superstars and SyCo’s machine. They were on a November episode of X Factor US and will appear on Thursday’s finale as well. They’ve cameo-ed on the UK one and sang on a Saturday performance night last month. This turned out to be quite controversial, as the boys were spotted in L.A. at the same time they were supposed to be on TV. Like they do on many of these shows, their bit was taped prior to the airing, since they’ve been so busy being international superstars.
Most out of touch
Steven Tyler, who doesn’t know what day it is, let alone any current popular music artists or songs, is gone from Idol and I couldn’t be happier.
Uncle Louie: managing JLS doesn’t make you hip. It makes you an old dude that likes boy bands.
James Arthur’s “SOS” is still one of the most memorable showings on X Factor UK all season.
Juliet Simms doing “Roxanne” is not something cannot be matched–it was such an electric moment for her, for the show, and for CeeLo as a mentor.
American Idol has every video from the show suppressed online (they have a clean You Tube page), so I will not be embedding Skylar’s “Stay with Me.” Instead, enjoy “Big Girls Don’t Cry” from Jason Brock!
Best 2012 music from reality show alumni
I don’t pay attention to most of these people after they’re eliminated (don’t ask me what Wagner or Didi Benami is doing now), but a few reality singing competition alums released some things I liked.
I just remember Aiden Grimshaw was this super intense dude on season 8 of X Factor UK (with One D), but he released an album, Misty Eye, this year that is actually pretty great.
I have posted this before, but who could get tired of this Misha B video?
Adam Lambert continues to release fine pop records. Trespassing was the first album by an out artist to debut at number one!
This was the second year Katie and I watched the whole final together–I went to her house, where we ate homemade pizza and drank tons of wine. It was awesome. Anyway, as she has reminded me it’s only 150-ish days until Eurovision 2013, I wanted to post our favorite performances from this year. [I can not wait! You can check here for all Eurovision news or our twitter because I am a nutcase for European pop and/or traditional music…RUSSIAN GRANNIES 4EVA! -K]
(Here is a primer on Eurovision. We plan to post about it extensively leading up to the finals.)
Loreen from Sweden won with “Euphoria,” a song which we thought got better with subsequent listens. Not to be confused with this song, though both are catchy as fuck.
Cyprus won’t be participating in 2013 due to financial reasons, but we will always have this fun and ridiculous song.
This song from Denmark had terrible production but it sounds like a nice generic indie song I would like on XMU.
I watched this video from San Marino so many times and I was crushed when it didn’t make it to the final. This is definitely an example of some of the worst and weirdest music to come out of Eurovision.
One of the main reasons I wanted to do this blog is to write about these shows that I truly love. 2012 was a great year for reality singing competition TV shows, I really hope next year is even better!