My intention going into to Season 10 of American Idol was to catch an episode or two just to see what it would be like without Simon at the judges table and then move on to some other program deserving the attention of my eyeballs. This past season was very forgettable — who the heck won*, anyway — so my brand loyalty was at an all-time low heading into the premiere with the auditions a few weeks back.
But a funny thing happened as I tried to have someone change the channel for me (recall that I am a quadriplegic and am unable to do it on my own): I really liked what I was seeing for several reasons.
The producers did a good job limiting the number of crappy auditions they showed on tv. Granted, I drank the William Hung flavored Kool-Aid way back when but that was an example of catching flatulence in a bottle. Subsequent efforts to repeat that phenomenon have been dominating recent seasons without any success, so personally, I’m pretty happy that they focused more on folks with actual talent.
And speaking of talent, most of these people who made it so far this year have some serious skills as musicians. I find that I prefer to watch someone perform who has either played with a band or on-stage behind a guitar or as part of a theatrical production as opposed to someone who has only ever sung a tune as the lyrics scroll by on a monitor in some bowling alley lounge.
As far as the absence of Simon Cowell as a judge goes, I assumed that I would be missing his criticisms and harsh commentary but I don’t. So far, the kinder gentler panel of Season 10 has been entertaining mainly because of Steven Tyler. It cracks me up when he sings along with the contestants during their performances. JLo has been more insightful than I imagined she would be and even Randy has toned-down the “Dawg” act to the occasional “Arf Arf” every once in awhile (comparatively speaking of course).
Now that they’ve narrowed the field to the top twenty-four, I am looking forward to seeing what happens performance-wise in the weeks to come. The singing so far has been pretty darned good — especially that dude from Santa Cruz, the guy that played the upright bass while singing during Hollywood Week, and the woman who reminds me a lot of Rachel from Glee.
However it turns out, the Fox network can count on my ass being in front of the flatscreen week in week out. Emma’s too, as long as it’s on before her bedtime. But if one of the Real Housewives is on, that show gets priority, of course, AI goes straight to the DVR. Happy wife, happy life, you know the drill.
In case you are interested, here is an excellent piece on the top twenty-four contestants. It breaks each one down very succinctly and in some cases hilariously.
*And for the record, I knew that Lee DeWyze won last year but still …