FilmSlashTV: I Want My Hollywood Week

Feb. 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Damn you, “American Idol,” you’re monkeying with us. Both this week’s episodes of “AI” are loglined as “Hollywood Week,” and we know that Wednesday’s 2-hour episode covers auditions in San Francisco. Will they split the hours between Frisco and H’wood? Dunno. The Fox folks are being unusally coy with their listings. They are perfectly capable of an hour of recap on Thursday and getting down to the bloodbath of Hollywood Week next week — or they’re starting the audition slash ‘n’ burn this week and continuing it next week. We simply don’t know what to tell you what to expect. It’s possible that Fox doesn’t know either and they’re frantically editing.

The auditions have been pretty upbeat so far. Maybe the switch from a primarily snotty British production company to an easily spooked American company is having an effect, and not a good one. The judges seem to be letting too many through. (You DO know that the judges don’t see the hopefuls on the same day as those giant cattle calls, yes?)

Previously, Hollywood Week dealt with just under 200 Golden Ticketees; this year, the number may be substantially higher. It’s not that they can’t sing, because, clearly they can, but that many of the Hollywood-bound are obviously not up to being thrown into the yapping dogfight that is the professional music business. Many kids are going to be chewed up and spit out within a few hours of landing at LAX.

There will be blood.

Hollywood Week exists for one reason — to take a couple of hundred starry-eyed, talented kids, bring them to the entertainment capitol of the world, and then ruthlessly, relentlessly, viciously subject them to psychological games, ego-crushing disappointments, all-night sleepless freakouts and family/friend/home deprivations and simple, swift bad luck and bruising head-ons with crushingly uncaring fate, and all for the simple expedient of reducing the number of contestants to manageable number. It’s pretty much like machine-gunning a basket full of puppies.

Yeah baby. It’s the greatest couple of nights on TV.

Important to think of “American Idol” as a sports event rather than a talent show. What you’re seeing are farm teams competing for professional slots.

After Hollywood Week, the number of contestants is small enough that their actual personalities begin to glimmer through the dross. We begin to empathize. If you’re at that point, “AI” has you for another year. Sucker!

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