Are the sound engineers for American Idol on air broadcasts that bad or simply rank amateurs? The truth is for the last two weeks they stunk. Imo I know of several unpaid sound guys in junior colleges and churches who could work rings around those so-called professionals. But they don't belong to any broadcast union.
Watching the two hour airings this week brought deja vu memories from last week's first group of twelve show. During both broadcasts I thought the sound person(s) "riding the boards" were either deliberately sabotaging certain contestants, or learning their craft on-the-job. Either way, they did a lousy job.
What I'm speaking about is the "mix". During "live" artist performances using background vocalists and instrumentalists there should be at least four - or more - main categories of sound, plus a large number of minor categories. First and most prominent should be the artist, then the background group, then the instrumentalists and finally the concert hall. Last week and again tonight home viewers could clearly hear the concert hall, the instrumentalists and the background singers. Down somewhere in the "mud" both weeks were the first three or four - or more - artists. Just couldn't clearly hear their voices, their notes, their tones or their lyrics in order to judge how well they did. Until afterward when they began talking to the judges. Oddly, that part worked OK.
[NOTE: I am not even mentioning the obvioous short-comings in the "monitoring" process (direct sound feeds for the artist, etc.). That important function's failures were also obvious. But to keep it simple this rant is only about the sound being broadcast].
During both weeks' shows the singers further along in the sequence benefited from better broadcast acoustics, in my opinion. This gave them a tremendous advantage. But was it fair? In my opinion, no! If it had happened just one week it could have been an odd occurrence. But two weeks in a row make it a pattern. In my view it is most likely a deliberate attempt to skew the rating results. And that makes the entire series merely an underhanded, cheating set-up. Boy, am I surprised.
Oh, well. That's just Hollywood.