American Idol returns for its 10th (and, I suspect, last) season tonight.
As you may know, I blog the show… but I don’t start full-scale blogging until the rounds where our opinions matter… this year, that appears to be the Top 20 round coming up on March 1-3.
Between now and then, we have 4 weeks of auditions — as we laugh at and/or cringe at the deluded while trying to see who might actually be good… then one week in Hollywood, one show in Vegas (at Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” extravaganza), and then a final Hollywood show on February 24 to set the top 20.
On March 1-2, we (meaning the teenage girls and bored housewives who power-vote) will cut the field to our 10 choices, who’ll then be joined by 2 judges’ wildcard selections for the 12-singer finals.
Of course, there’ll be lots of changes… Simon, Kara, and Ellen are gone, replaced by Jennifer Lopez and the animated corpse of Steven Tyler. Randy Jackson now gets the last word on the judges’ panel. Ryan Seacrest is still there, biding time until his plans for world domination are activated. Jimmy Iovine is on-board as the new Permanent Mentor (but I suspect there’ll be some other mentors as the year
drags rolls on). There’s a new band (who apparently will be performing from offstage). And, perhaps, there’ll even be online voting (the better to give the teenage power-voters another weapon).
What there will also be is the shadow of X Factor. AI will be in mid-season when X Factor auditions begin. You know FOX will make a bigger deal of that. It’s my opinion (and not only mine) that FOX would like for Idol to fade and X Factor to take over — they’re basically all-in on Simon Cowell. And let’s face it, it’s FOX. Do you really think they’ll figure out how to balance AI and X on the same network? Of course not… these are the people who can’t figure out how to make a 30-minute sitcom last more than 13 weeks…
It has the potential to be an interesting season — especially with younger contestants and the unstated desire to get away from the “white crooner with a guitar” pattern that’s been in effect for the last three seasons. Based on interviews I’ve seen, they really want a female winner… but they wanted one last year and still couldn’t get MamaSox home.
I’ll probably toss something up this week about the new judges, but don’t expect to see a lot from here until the first week of March.
Enjoy the bad auditions… scout the good ones… and we’ll talk in March. 🙂