What American Idol’s Rock Hall-Themed Episode Says About the Current State of Music on TV: Critic’s Take

If you tuned in to American Idol on Sunday (April 21) to see the announcement of this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, you got the news, albeit in a surprisingly rushed, half-hearted presentation. With so much other ground to cover in the two-hour episode – which was centered on performances by the top 14 contenders of songs by previous Rock Hall inductees – there apparently just wasn’t time to give this year’s announcement the shine it deserved.

What viewers did get was a strong concert by a group of talented young artists which demonstrated the range of the previous inductees. Well, for the most part: The show featured rock, pop, R&B and country, but no hip-hop. And three contestants sang Whitney Houston songs – two of them ballads from The Bodyguard. That is a sign of how popular Houston remains 12 years after her death, and how much she is still seen as a role model by young, up-and-coming talent. Apparently, the show doesn’t step in and say, “Sorry, she’s already taken. Can you pick somebody else?” But with so many artists, and types of artists in the Rock Hall, it seemed ridiculous to spotlight Houston three times.

The two artists who covered Bodyguard songs – Julia Gagnon (“Run to You”) and Jayna Elise (“I Have Nothing”) – both made it through to the next round. But Jordan Anthony, a 19-year-old Aussie bloke who sang “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” was sent home. His version of the song – less ebullient, more tender – was interesting, though a non-bubbly “Wanna Dance” is a hard sell, when that is the song’s defining quality. (The song topped Billboard’s 2023 list of The 500 Best Pop Songs: Staff List.)

Here are five takeaways from the Rock Hall-themed episode of American Idol.

Source From: www.billboard.com

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