Idol: What Did You Think?

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The behemoth is back. American Idol has bowed ….and I’m not too crazy about this part of the show. Nor shall I tune in til it’s all about those twelve people who have fought/bitten/clawed and hopefully sung their way to some kind of semi-semi-final spot. Because by then something will undoubtedly happen to all of them professionally, based on their talent. Right?

Because by then we won’t have to watch those people who have refinanced homes, donated organs, forsaken families and slumbered in pup tents – all for a shot at a nervous ballad that may very well prompt hoots from viewers. If they’re lucky.

What do you think? Did you watch?

I realize that Idol’s ultra-popular and must-see TV for zillions of Americans BUT I don’t like the part with the people getting shot down. It feels mean. I have friends who say “Don’t be ridiculous. They need to go through this. How else will they know they haven’t got what it takes in Hollywood?” To which I invariably respond: “True. Everyone who doesn’t have ‘it’ will discover this sooner or later. But do we have to do it publicly? And does it have to be so humiliating with the cameras documenting every second of the heartbreak?” As usual,  nobody listens to me but I’m still sitting tight til the last dozen. Oh, I watched bits and pieces last night; I had to see a little of JLo and Steven Tyler. I was as curious as anybody else about whether these two could build any kind of consensus and/or guide young talent with their compelling opinions. And what I discovered was that Tyler comes across as a well-meaning, if verbally simple rockstar who’s having fun – and who’s been in the business for a very, very long time. I happen to like him anyway, and there’s something benign about him. JLo seemed to make it all about her. Which is fine – that’s why she’s there and hopefully she (and our collective infatuation with her self-infatuation) will keep everyone tuning in, week after week. In fact, I’m pretty sure there was more time devoted last night to her own hand-wringing about accepting this job in the first place and how “hard” it is, than to the actual dismissal of the also-rans. There was a fascinating article that came out this week about how JLo let her twins  – who are not yet three years old – model for Gucci.  According to several news sources, Lopez said she gave her tots (whose father is hub Marc Anthony) the go-ahead when she discovered that there was a kids’ charity tie-in. Here’s how it went:

Marc didn’t really want to put the babies in an ad or anything like that,” Lopez says. “And I was just like, if they do it, I’d want to do it with my kids because it is for the kids. That’s the connection. That’s what makes it real.”

Personally, I’m curious about what exactly Marc said to block the proposal – and how quickly he was overruled. I also happen to feel that if there was a ‘charity’ dedicated to so much as the preservation of Civil War-era weaponry, or to the restoration of a landmark building within ten miles of the Block that Jenny From The Block is from, that would have been more than enough reason for JLo to green-light the modeling. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no question that the kids’ charity angle makes it all seem a whole lot more palatable– but let’s not kid ourselves about why she did it. Or perhaps Jennifer is underestimating our intelligence. Why did she do it? Because she could. It’s clear that this is a very smart – and maybe even quite lucrative – way to get buzz and get the whole Lopez-Anthony family out there. Right about the time that em, she goes off to her brand new job. Now if that isn’t a newsworthy coincidence, I don’t know what is.

The point is, the show needs JLo if it is to survive – and she may have just the appeal/moxie/ gall/outrageousness to pull it off. Here’s hoping it works out for everyone involved. I’ll check back in several weeks when it’s safe to watch again. In the meantime, let’s get your first impressions. Voice your choice in today’s poll and tell us which of the American Idol premiere’s four principals was your favorite:

1)   Randy

2)   Ryan

3)   Steven

4)   JLo

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