Thursday, January 20, 2011

American Idol Season 10 With Steven Tyler & Jennifer Lopez Off to a Good Start

I had been of the opinion that American Idol jumped the shark when Paula Abdul left, replaced by Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi. The departure of Simon Cowell seemed to me to be the final straw in the American Idol coffin.


I think I was wrong. Wednesday night's first episode of the new season of American Idol really seemed like a new and improved version.

And getting rid of, what had started to seem to me, the repetitively, evermore less amusing, Simon Cowell, seems to have been a healthy change.

Sort of like getting rid of a tumor you did not realize was cancerous.

Last year, or was it the year before, American Idol hype said it would be a kinder, gentler American Idol, reflective of the tough economic times. But, I really did not notice much difference. A lot of the same making fun of unfortunate, clueless souls was still very much an element.

Last night there really was none of that old American Idol style meanness. The goofy, talentless auditioners who did appear were treated respectfully and pretty much gently. My favorite of those was the totally clueless Boy Scout.

Right from the very first audition there was a big difference, with Steven Tyler sort of singing along. It was like both he and Jennifer Lopez were more humanely, honestly connected to those trying out than Simon Cowell ever came close to being.

All in all, the new American Idol just has a way more positive feel to it. At least so far.

And I like the enhanced back stories. The daughter of a cancer survivor, a new American from Kosovo, a 16 year old kid who spent time in a homeless shelter. I think my favorite may have been the Singing Waitress.

Both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez surprised me. Tyler due to how funny he is. Lopez due to how honestly nice she seemed. The poor lady was devastated the first time she knew she had to say no to someone. As auditions continued saying no did not get much easier, with Jennifer at one point saying, "Oh, my God, I hate this! Why did I sign up for this? I want to go home."

American Idol seemed to find some interesting singers in New Jersey. I've pretty much gone from figuring I'd be bailing on American Idol, to now I am solidly in for the duration.

A very pleasant surprise.

And one more thing. Randy Jackson appears to have lost a lot of weight and I thought he came across way better with his new judge partners.

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