Saturday, May 17, 2008

DSDS Final Tonight

Note: Some of you might feel this post to be off topic, so please feel free to skip this post if you would like.

Tonight is the final of Deutschland sucht den Superstar (commonly called DSDS). DSDS is the German version of American Idol. We’ll be watching (and listening) to see if Thomas Godoj or Fady Mallouf wins.

There is little doubt that the whole Idol franchise has been a success. There are several versions around the world and there have even been some global competitions with various Idol contestants. Kelly Clarkson and Carrier Underwood have been a couple of successful American Idol winners and appearances on the show helped launch careers for Kellie Pickler, Josh Gracin, and Jennifer Hudson.

I started watching DSDS with the final of season one, where Alexander Klaws beat out Juliette Schoppmann, then didn’t see it again until the final season two (won by Elli Erl). I became hooked during season three, where Tobias Regner won. Season four was won by Mark Medlock.

American Idol and DSDS have tapped into a Big Brother reality tv kind of pulse. They command a large audience of views who call in (or send SMSes with the mobile phones) to vote for their favorites with the lowest vote getters being kicked off. There have certainly been some controversies where marginally talented candidates managed to continue while seemly more talented candidates were kicked out due to efforts of some very enthusiastic fans. When viewers call in to vote they’re charged a fee for the privilege of voting. Callers are not restricted to voting only one time, so some fans will call in multiple times, taking away the truly democratic element. This seems to be purely a means of making money.

During the third season of DSDS I was struck but the talent of the final four candidates and thought that any of them could probably have a successful career if given the chance. The winner Tobias Regner and Mike Leon Grosch went on tour together and three of the four produced records. Watching season five this year I have thought more and more that some of the candidates could really harness the power of the internet to connect with their fans and pursue their careers. Within Germany, it seems to me that they don’t really promote the winners that much or that well, three of the past winners have disappeared after releasing their albums and going on the initial promotional tours, while last year’s winner, Mark Medlock, allied himself with perennial jury member, Dieter Bohlen, will be releasing his third album. Mark even did and album with Dieter Bohlen and they toured went on tour together last year. During the this and past seasons, it has been evident that the fans really come out to many of the promotions to see their favorites, so it would seem that the potential is there if properly harnessed.

I enjoy it when the candidates are able to sing more than one song in an episode. This can really show the canidates that have talent and range of their voices. It can also help to negate a bad song selection for or by the candidate. A few shows ago the theme was songs by Mariah Carrey for the women while the man had to sing a song of Take That. I thought singing Mariah Carrey songs was too restrictive on some of the women, as not everyone had singing styles or voices that lent themselves to her type of song. I like the idea of the candidates singing a variety of songs with different themes or genres, but think that if more of the candidates could do two or three songs more often, this would give us a better chance to see how good they really are. I really enjoy seeing some of the candidates develop their singing skills and abilities over the course of the shows, some of them really take advantage of the coaching provided. I would like to see more candidates continuing on longer instead of kicking one or so off every week. Maybe they could have a regular season followed by some kind of playoff. There could be the regular season of 8 to 10 normal shows and then a playoff or series of playoffs resulting in two finalists that the audience could vote for.

I’m sure that there will be a lot of viewers of tonight’s show and that there will be a lot good music sung. I guess that we’ll find out who wins tonight! Do you have a favorit Idol or Superstar? Do you have any ideas for improving the shows (please refrain from obscene suggestions). If you liked this article, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS or email, share it on or on Digg and pass it on to anyone that you think might appreciate it. Thank you. :)
On Deck…

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