The season premiere of American Idol was absolutely awful last night. About a year back I wrote a blog calling Idol one of the most important TV shows ever, and at the time I was sure it was on track to be just that. But Simon Cowell has jumped ship, and the music industry is in Skid Row, and people stopped caring about who won the world’s biggest talent competition. Add all that up and you get a juggernaut that's in its white-star stage. If Idol comes back for an 11th season next year, I promise it will be the last.
Why was the show bad? Too many reasons to count. The shtick is old hat by now. The whole Ryan Seacrest thing has run its course. The excitement is bland at best. But more than anything else, it’s the judges: Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson. The first half hour of last night’s premiere was all about the new judges, and, to be honest, I don’t think too many people really care two hoots about this new blood. Half the people that performed last night were actually better singers than Lopez, and Steven Tyler (one of rock’s greatest front men ever) is so over-the-top and desperate. It is really, really sad to watch, honestly. As a viewer, I didn’t care about what they (the judges) had to say about any of the wannabe singers, and additionally neither of them could make a straightforward critique. If you were a fan of J-Lo you got through. If you cried and begged, hello Hollywood. It was horrible. I turned it off at 9.40PM.
But above all, it is the loss of Simon Cowell that will cripple this show for good. No matter how much of the show you could care less about in years past, no matter how ordinary the singers were or how artificial and phony some of the "whacky" auditions were, you always lingered long enough to hear what Simon had to say. Now that element of the show is gone. And with that out of the equation there’s really no reason to watch.
It should be a long, forgettable season 10 of a show that once was on track to be the greatest reality show ever. Now we have a plastic-surgeried, former rock icon in women’s clothing screaming everything he says (Tyler), and a woman (Lopez) who’s a punch line for lacking talent, on the panel, deciding who’s going to be the next young singer to fade into oblivion 5 minutes after the finale. Have fun with that, Randy ‘the dog’ Jackson.
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