‘Idol’ Worship: Now with Real Celebrity Judges!

It’s Season 10 of ‘American Idol’ and I know all the tricks. I know all the contestant personality types. I can see quickly from an audition which contestants will make it to Hollywood, which ones will be mocked in a montage, and which will make it to the top group only to crash and burn on a Whitney Houston or Stevie Wonder song. This season has started out looking like much of the same old Fox battle horse, but we’ve got some new judges, and I’m sure they have some new torture in mind for the contestants.

The big change this year is clearly the judging panel. Paula and Simon are out – Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are in. Randy Jackson is still there, but now seems like odd man out. I was definitely bummed about Paula and Simon leaving, but really Simon phoned it in last season and Paula had sobered up, so they weren’t half as much fun. I think they tried to replace Paula with the drug-addled sound bytes from Steven and the personability and fashion from J.Lo. What’s now missing is the harshness of Simon, although Steven does appear to have Simon’s lecherous inappropriate behavior towards the young girls.

The first episodes are always the auditions, which I definitely find tedious. In Week One, we saw all the standard stuff – cringeworthy performances, tone-deafness, dumb outfits, celebrity worship, sappy stories about young mothers and blue-collar laborers with good voices. (Notice I say “good,” not great.) But there are also a few glimpses of great potential, which at the end of the day is why I still watch. However, the show really doesn’t give us much time with the people going on to Hollywood, so it’s difficult to say who really might stand out. My favorite thus far is the young, red-headed, Mark-Bolen-looking, bullied kid.

Also, it’s clear that the judges need some more backbone to tell it like it is. Only twice did I see the hammer go down. Once was from Steven Tyler with the comment, “Did you chew paint when you were a kid?” That wasn’t really constructive, just mean. The other was from Randy, when he told the kid who went to Idol Summer Camp that his performance was bad, really bad. There were a number of questionables that the judges were overly excited about, so I’m curious if we’re going to have 300 people at Hollywood week, followed by an absolutely crazy group day where they get rid of half of them.

As jaded as my comments are, and as frustrated as I get with all the crap the show makes us endure, I still love ‘Idol’. I have watched from Season One, and I can’t think of another show, save Red Sox Baseball, that I’ve spent more hours obsessing over. Hopefully, the weeks of auditions will go quickly and then we’ll be on to the real singing.


  1. I heard on Kidd Kraddick last Friday that they put through something like 250 people to Hollywood this year, up from 130-something last year. However, I do not have a link to this.

    I REALLY like the new judges. I thought I was going to HATE this season, but, OMG, JLo and Steven Tyler are such a breath of fresh air.

    One thing that I like about this season, and it seems to be consistant on the message boards, are that everyone loves the fact that, this year, they seem to be focusing more on the people who got through, and less on the bad auditions. One thing I stated on their facebook page is that I don’t mind seeing a bad audition here and there, but, especially last season, they seemed to focus on them.

    A combination of the new judges and the focusing on more people who actually got through is just the thing they needed to revitalize Idol.

    I also kind of like that they lowered the age limit to 15. We are seeing some REALLY talented kids this year.

    I got many favorites this year, but I can also point out people who are going to crash and burn in Hollywood week, and that is sad, because there are some REALLY good people, who have the potential of being stars, who I seriously doubt will survive that week – its just brutal.

    Anyways, YAY to the changes that were made this year!

    • Junie Ray

      I’m completely on board with the new judges too. And I think it’s to their credit that the auditions are more upbeat. Though I am kind of sad that no one has been told they should sing on a cruise ship. As for the 15 year old age limit. I’m somewhat on the fence on this. Yes we get to see the talent early, but at what emotional cost?

  2. OliveAnother

    Steven Tyler is turning out to be witty, sweet and surprisingly lucid. If FOX can keep him out of rehab long enough, he’ll be a great judge and mentor. And come on stage mom’s, who else do you want mentoring your 15 year old fame hungry daughters. Oh wait…

    JLo’s only misstep so far is the poodle skirt, musical shirt, pony tailed Pink Lady outfit worn on Thursday night’s show. That look is not going to Hollywood.

    Looking forward to another season of Idol, the car wreck of a talent show you just can’t turn away from.

    • Junie Ray

      J. Lo’s musical shirt was completely ridiculous. As they were in Nashville, I’m guessing it was her idea of country, only with a bit of Miami flair.

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