We live in strange times. And they’re about to get even stranger. Not only did my “The Day After” co-host Jeffery Austin have to to celebrate the last birthday of his twenties this week in captivity, but pretty soon, all of the American Idol and The Voice contestants will have to perform in captivity.
ABC just announced that — after exploring “multiple options within state guidelines” to continue Idol Season 18 without an audience, starting April 26, Idol will instead take place remotely from the contestants’ and judges’ homes. And while NBC has yet to make a similar announcement about The Voice, on a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon, Blake Shelton implied that that show will also soon switch to an at-home format.
So on yet another “home edition” of this week’s podcast, Jeffery and I spend a lot of time discussing this new abnormal. How exactly will this work? Will contestants with better audio and video equipment and stronger wi-fi have an advantage over less privileged or less technologically savvy contestants? Will singer-songwriters who can accompany themselves on instruments have an advantage over this Idol season’s crop of teen pop divas? Will bedroom-pop singers who grew up will Instagram/YouTube/Vine culture have an advantage over older professionals used to feeding off a live audience’s energy? And what will producers do to level the playing field, so that we don’t have some contestants performing in Finneas-style home studios while others are forced to sing a cappella into their iPhone cameras?
Thankfully, though, we do talk also about two episodes that were already in the can long before the current pandemic. We take a deep dive into this week’s Voice Knockouts with Mega-Mentor James Taylor, then we wrap things up with a quick fashion Ru-cap of the amazing “Black Wedding” runway challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Special thanks to our Season 6 American Idol pals Blake Lewis and Brandon Rogers for our funky theme song. If you prefer the written word, check out my Reality Rocks articles on Yahoo Entertainment here.