Friday, January 18, 2013

Season 12 of American Idol Opens With a Yawn With New Judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj & Keith Urban

I made it through the first two hours of Season 12 of American Idol, the New York City auditions, making heavy use of the DVR's fast forward function.

I did not make it all the way through the next two hours, those being the Chicago auditions.

The Season 12 opening ratings for American Idol are the lowest since American Idol became America's #1 TV show.

When Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez became American Idol judges I quickly liked the change. I was surprised at how likable Ms. Lopez was and how funny Mr. Tyler was.

So far I have not found the tension between the divas, Mariah Carey and the Trinidadian firecracker, Nicki Minaj, to be at all amusing. Nicki Minaj seems to be quite domineering, while Mariah Carey seems to be a bit aloof, while Keith Urban seems to be a mild-mannered, polite Australian a bit shell shocked, sitting between two volcanic divas building to an eruption.

In previous iterations of American Idol, by this point, there would have already been memorable auditions, singers who seemed like they could be winners. Or memorable wannabes providing some good cringe worthy moments.

I don't remember anyone I've seen so far. Good or bad.

Well, that is not totally true. I do remember the lengthy back story of the guy who has had a big cancer battle, eventually losing a leg. I thought after that long back story he was a shoo-in for Hollywood. Instead he got 4 no's.

I guess time will tell if this is the year where American Idol finally jumps the shark and begins its slow descent to being a cancelled TV show.

UPDATE: I should have watched the full two hours of the Chicago auditions before blogging, because the last hour in Chicago had a memorable moment, or two, or three.

One was the return of Johnny Kayser, whose boot last season left a lot of viewers perplexed.

Another was an auditioner who calls herself Kezban, real name, Katherine Sauerbier. Until I heard her say her real name I was not sure if Kezban was a guy or a girl. Looking at various internet forums I see I am not alone in that confusion. I did not expect to like Kezban, but, by the time she got her Golden Ticket, I was really liking her, as were the judges.

And then there was the last audition of the day. We were warned this would be a tear jerker. A kid who migrated, with his mom and dad, from Cuba, when he was a little kid. A little stuttering kid named Lazaro Arbos. The stuttering got worse in America, where he was unable to make friends, apparently shunned due to the stuttering. Well, Lazaro stuttered that he was going to sing Bridge Over Troubled Water and then proceeded to do so, flawlessly. As the judges heaped praise on Lazoro he broke down into sobbing tears. It was a rather moving moment. I rather liked this kid.

I now have two or three reasons to continue watching American Idol. If Kezban makes it to the live shows, the inevitable makeover should be interesting.

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