Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome Back!

It would be welcome anyway, but with the writers strike now really ravaging the TV season, there's no better time for American Idol to return. Like in past years, I'm not going to do a formal Idol recap until we get to the final 24. But I did want to provide a few quick thoughts on tonight's premiere.

First, the producers have been telling the media that they're going to make some changes this year, such as featuring more of the contestants and less of the guest mentors. That's good, but it will be a few weeks until we know if they're serious about that. But I will say that it did seem they were showing us a few more good singers than usual, or at least balancing the proportion between good and bad better than in past years. I'll probably live to regret those words by this time tomorrow, but I can always have hope....

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the producers will address one of my pet peeves--showing, at the very least, the audition of every one of the top 24 semi-finalists, so that we don't end up knowing the life story of 10 contestants, have seen 10 others sing a couple times and know absolutely nothing about four of them. It's not fair to those four--and makes no sense considering they'll spend 10 hours on audition shows over the next month. But according to Alan Sepinwall, the TV critic for the Newark Star-Ledger, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe responded to his question about this last week on a conference call by saying that he's trying to make the most entertaining show he can and he's not going to show someone if they're "boring as hell." This, of course, is a stupid answer--because why would someone who is "boring as hell" have even made the final 24? But I guess it's just one of the many mysteries of American Idol.

A few notes on tonight's show:
Favorite Paula remark of the night: To the Egyptian guy at the beginning, when she said, "I think you should keep singing for your enjoyment."

Did the guy with the really deep voice really think his problem was the fact that he sang a Christian song?

So Alexis Cohen walked out saying she wanted to "keep her dignity." Nice job with that, Alexis. I doubt anyone will want to bring their dog to you if you become a vet after that display. And Nigel, why do you keep indulging these people who figure the only way they're going to get on TV is to throw some tantrum? Talk about boring...

By the way, Alexis said she thinks it was Bon Jovi who wrote a song about her hometown of Allentown. Did they have a song about Allentown, or was she somehow mixing them up with Billy Joel?

Kristy Lee Cook--she sure looks like a top 24 member, doesn't she?

So instead of just putting on a shirt, that guy got his whole body waxed? Simon's right--that guy really did want to get on TV.

Not a bad start. Fingerhut out.

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1/16/08, 2:50 AM  

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