Last night was the season premiere of the tenth season of American Idol on FOX. I had (OK, still have) lowered expectations going into this season. I'm not a big gushing fan of either Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler (I blame her entire oeuvre for my feelings on the former and hearing "Jaded" on the radio everyday for the whole of 2001 for the latter). But lets see how they did on their first day of judgeship in (say it like Fred Armisen as former Governor David Paterson on SNL with me) New Jersey!
- J-Lo and Steven Tyler were actually quite effective as judges. Ms. Lopez is like a more intelligent, more coherent Paula Abdul who actually gives an honest critique sometimes. She's a little timid right now when she has to deliver negative reviews, but I think that she'll actually bring a lot to the table once she gets more comfortable. Steven Tyler is kind of perfection as a reality show judge. He doesn't give two figs about where he is or what he's doing. He's just being Steven Tyler. And he's having a helluva good time. And he's actually offering valid critiques. Imagine that!
- The Idol Powers That Be took a note for once and increased the number of "good" performances shown last night. I appreciated that the episode showcased more talent and fewer carnival sideshows.
- None of the "good" performances were really all that exciting. Some of them were downright obnoxious (I'm looking at you, 16-year-old Minnie Mouse-voiced wannabe pageant queen who has been practicing her Idol audition since she was seven. The best thing the judges could've done for that girl would have been to send her packing and tell her not to come back until she's had some actual life experience.)
- We don't need to see all the contestants sing the same song in a montage. Especially if that song is "Party in the USA."
- This needs to be Randy Jackson's last year. I thought that maybe, MAYBE, , being the senior member of the panel, he'd have gained some more confidence as a judge. But no. He's still the highest paid nonentity in show business. Dawg, come on. Think for yourself once in a while.
- The sob stories are played out. I am so jaded (Great, now I have that song in my head again) that I can't even be moved by a bullied gay homeless boy whose mother is dying and whose sister was born deaf and can only hear her brother's dulcet tones through vibrations. You did this to me, Idol. I want my humanity back.