Guest Author - Sandra Eggers
A new season of American Idol is upon us and we hardly recognize it with all the changes that have been made.
For better or worse, the Simon-Randy-Paula/Ellen/Cara partnership is gone. You always knew what you were going to get with those judges. Most missed will be Simon’s crude tell-it-like-it-is commentary that was generally pretty spot-on. The only original judge left is Randy, which actually works for AI, as he really seems to know his stuff and be into the whole music industry thing.
The new judges are going to take a bit of getting used to, just as they’re probably getting used to each other. Their job is to fill the gaping hole left by Simon, and that’s a tall order for anyone. Their other more important job is to try and revive slumping AI ratings and find a truly marketable star with the “it” factor.
Who would have ever guessed that American Idol would land Jennifer “Jenny from the Block superstar” Lopez and Steven “Aerosmith rock icon” Tyler. AI ratings are sure to improve solely based on a huge curiosity factor, if for nothing else. The collective resume of this new panel of judges would seem to be impressive on paper, but we’re also watching for entertainment value and their ability to keep things interesting. It may take a few more episodes to see how well that’s working out.
One more change made for this new season is the age restriction. They’ve opened up auditions to 15-year-olds. Makes sense since it’s mostly the teens and tweens who vote like a thousand times a night. But really, for baby-boomers and older, can you remember what you were doing at 15? Can you even imagine performing on live TV for millions! It’s a huge opportunity, yet, but wow, how’s that kid going to turn out after being subjected to all the pressure that goes along with it.
Midway through the auditions, the viewing public has been given a hint of the judges favorite, and sure enough, she’s one of those bright-eyed, young things taking advantage of the younger age restriction. There have also been the typical “weirdo” auditions that we see each year, as well as those heartwarming stories and even a “power couple”.
It seems like the new panel of judges is giving out a lot more “golden tickets” than in the past. More than once already, Randy has said NO, and the contestant is put through anyway. It may have to do with how much they flirt with Steven, or the back story and how well it will play out over the weeks and months.
Only time will tell if AI can climb back to the top of the ratings board. And even if they manage to get there, how long can they endure the competition from every other entertainment reality show? The best thing they could do is come out of this season with a really huge superstar this season.