Saturday, 7 August 2010

You Can't Stop The Music

As Simon Cowell gets busy readying the US version of X-Factor for TV audiences Stateside, fans are left wondering about what will become of their favourite talent-fest. Since Simon's departure at the end of season 9, a big question mark has hung over the judges' table on American Idol.

Simon has always been the show's primary draw, despite the often incredible vocal talents on display, and his leaving has left producers with a major headache. It didn't help matters that Ellen DeGeneres announced that she won't be returning for the show's tenth season - citing her discomfort with shooting down young people's dreams. Lightweight.

Within a week, stories had begun circulating that the unpronounceable Kara DioGuardi had also been released from her contract, making a seat on the judge's panel seem about as secure as the passenger seat in James Bond's Aston Martin. Now only Randy Jackson remains, and since his comments are usually as incomprehensible as the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, he's clearly expendable too.

So what's next for America's most popular TV show? Pretty much anyone with the ability to sit still for an hour and drink Coca-Cola is in the running, with bookies currently favouring Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler for the pane. But an interesting alternative candidate has also been suggested, who could change the dynamic in all kinds of ways.

Having contacted TV producers to put himself forward for the role, Victor Willis believes he could be in with a shot, since he staged "the original American Idol" in the mid-1970s. If you're wondering who Victor is, you're probably not alone. But it's safe to say that, for a while at least, he was one of the most recognisable pop stars in the world.

Victor was the lead singer of iconic group (and bad wedding disco staple) The Village People, and could usually be seen sporting a less-than-convincing police officer uniform. OK, so the band featured more crude caricatures than Rolf Harris' doodle-pad, but for a while they defined Disco.

According to Willis, the band was cast in much the same way as the TV show, "It's amazing how similar the current American Idol show is to what actually took place during the original Village People auditions. Many of the singers and dancers were absolutely horrendous while others were very good. Jacques [Morali] and I sat at a table and listened to each of them pitch their talent. And, just like Simon Cowell, Jacques had very little patience for bad talent. I was more laid back in my judging though."

Despite his self-belief, Willis is pragmatic about his chances, which is probably for the best. Although, as he points out: "Apparently they're looking for someone who the public would least suspect." In which case, he could be in with a shot after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment