American Idol: The New Class


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!

The Good:
  • 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.
The Bad:
  • 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.”  
The Same Old, Same Old:
  • 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.
What did you think of New Jersey Night?  Do you have an early favorite in the Idol race?  How do you think the new judges are doing?


Leave a comment
  • I tuned in to be disappointed, and was really surprised by how much I liked the new panel. I agree with you, JLo was surprisingly articulate (despite having trouble dashing people's dreams of hollywood) and looked like she was having fun. I liked Steven Tyler (except he did his high voice thing too much - I know almost nothing about him or his band, and even I got the message). Anyway, I liked his "I am a Super Rock Star and I am here to judge you so entertain me or I will quickly lose interest and send you packing" - he didn't entertain these people's begging or sob stories at all. Loved that. As for Randy, i too was hoping he could have one season where he told people they sucked, instead of starting every sentance with: "For me, it wasn't great." Come on Randy, just tell them, it wasn't great for anyone.

  • In reply to Ashby:

    I absolutely loved how hard Steven Tyler wasn't trying. It was so refreshing to see someone on TV who wasn't self-promoting and who wasn't actively trying to be either obnoxious or overly sweet in order to further his career. I kind of loved him and I hope he continues to be awesome.

  • In reply to Magistra:

    I also thought JLo was really pretty, but I left that out in case it discredited my in depth analysis in any way...

Leave a comment