Now that it's over, there are some things that stood out to me as failing in this show. Everyone's got their own opinion, so this one's mine:
+ Give the artists more time to complete their vision. It's about creativity, not speed. Respect that part of the process. The show still only has to be an hour.
+ Get better, more thoughtful, more consistent judges. There are juried exhibitions all across the country. Recognizing these are subjective assessments, balance comfort in front of the camera against thoughtful evaluation and if your editing team has to work a little bit harder, so be it. Glib "I don't get it" or "That's too simple/too messy/that doesn't correspond with my vision for this challenge." have no place on this show.
+ Oh, and mean girl judge, you're out. Period. Buh-bye. No place for you on this show. If you must share your snark, you can blog like everyone else.
+ Until someone can explain to anyone's satisfaction what a "gallerist" is, there shouldn't be one on the show.
+ Simon should be less ridiculous, more advisory. You're in the Tim Gunn role on this show so take some tips from him. Let the judges evaluate the finished product. You should be there to support the process.
+ The artists have tons of opportunities to weigh in during the creative process and during the gallery show. The crit is between the judges and the individual artists, and the other artists can STFD and STFU.
+ In a team challenge, the artists should never be able to just eliminate a team member they're having some personal conflict with. That's really ugly.
+ Demystify ridiculousness like "Oh, I'm so hyperstimulated, I need little nap," "I'm just so fresh and new and young I don't know /what/ I'm doing." "Oh, I have reclaimed my power by taking my top off." If you're an artist you have a process and you can articulate it. Art communicates across different planes of consciousness but on some level it is always deliberate. That is part of why it is art.
+ Regardless of the challenge, the artists should always be given the option of working in their preferred medium. That said, the artists should all commit to the challenge at hand. They shouldn't just decide "Oh, that's too commercial, I am an artiste!" and just do whatever they want. However they are inspired to respond to the challenge, that is their starting point.
Do these things and the end result might actually be "The Next Great Artist." Oh, Abdi was fine, but I got the sense half the time artists were being eliminated because there was a good enough excuse to do so, not that their work or contribution was the worst, and that absolutely affected who he was up against.
I get it, it's the inaugural season, no one had any idea what they were doing, and this is what you came up with. Put those magical elves back to work and do it right next time.