American Idol: The pirate, the princess and Randy Jackson

American Idol is back! And it’s so exciting that people were crying just waiting to find out who the new judges were!

Or so they’d have you believe. Any doubts as to whether AI can survive without Simon Cowell were cunningly concealed behind an intro of over-the-top feverish intensity. Out of clouds of billowing smoke and anticipation, Ryan Seacrest proudly presented…

Randy Jackson. Ooh, there’s a shock. He’s a tiny bit slimmer than last year’s Randy Jackson, but he still says “dawg” a lot.

The first new judge was Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, looking like the love child of Captain Jack Sparrow and Paula Abdul as realised in plasticine by a 7 year old.

The second was Jennifer Lopez, “the ultimate triple threat” according to Ryan Seacrest, as she can sing, dance and has a lovely bottom (actually what he said was that she can act, but anyone who’s seen Maid in Manhattan would know he was kidding about that one).

So how are the new judges? Well, I have to say I’m impressed. I did miss Cowell’s bubble-bursting way with an aphorism – some of these contestants could seriously do with a reality check, and J-Lo and S-Ty didn’t seem to deal much in reality.  S-Ty didn’t look like he even knew what reality was, which of course is entirely proper for a rock star. But he burbled very amusingly in a surreal kind of way and ogled the female contestants with a kind of genial lasciviousness which somehow managed to be inoffensive and almost sweet.

J-Lo is apparently such a big star that most of the contestants burst into tears just at the sight of her, which hampered their performance somewhat. She pretended that she hated upsetting people by rejecting them even if they were awful. I wasn’t falling for that nonsense – you don’t get from being Jenny on the block to being J-Lo the global brand by being squeamish about hurting people’s feelings.

As to the contestants, it was business pretty much as usual, apart from the crying. The “too many notes” style of singing seems to be the default style once again, and without Cowell there it’s going unchecked and even being encouraged. One person who sang ‘Yesterday’ filled it with so many runs and optional extras that the original tune had completely vanished under the weight of ornamentation, but all the judges agreed it had been marvellous.

Maybe on a cruise ship, as Cowell might have said.

Posted by PLA                 (more American Idol here)


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3 responses to “American Idol: The pirate, the princess and Randy Jackson

  1. Tim

    I do rather like S-Ty. Agree that J-Lo is merely fitting into the “compassionate” role once occupied by Abdul – hopefully she will be more convincing in this than she was in Maid!

    I have to say, I quite liked this low-key start. It’s a back-to-basics approach that reminds us that Idol is – first and foremost – a singing competition rather than a vehicle for Simon Cowell one-liners. I do miss him, though.