January 22, 2011


Ryan Seacrest’s signature expression may have been missing from the season 10 premiere of AMERICAN IDOL, but the premiere itself was far from disappointing. Read on, and share your views on the new judges this season.

After the S9 finale of AMERICAN IDOL, when Lee Dewyze was crowned Idol king 2010, Ellen DeGeneres announced that she was quitting IDOL, after being on board for only one season. Soon after that, Kara DioGuardi announced her exit, after being on the judging panel for just two seasons. And with Simon Cowell having bid adieu by the end of the S9, Randy Jackson was the lone survivor on that panel. New judges were required, and they had to be big names, to keep us viewers’ interest alive, especially after the departure of Simon, who is one of the reasons why many people used to watch the show. Names were thrown around, and rumours were being spread every few weeks after the exit of the three judges, and finally there seemed to be some kind of a confirmation on who would be joining Randy. IDOL had done it. They had roped in two of the biggest names in contemporary music—Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, and singer, dancer and actress Jennifer Lopez! And trust IDOL to dramatize the entire search for new judges, with the montage that opened S10!

Bringing in the excitement and drama that IDOL is known for; the season began with a bang, with the first two days of auditions in New Jersey. The crowd waiting for a chance to be heard was massive, as is the case with any IDOL auditions. The premiere had quite a few fresh 16-year-olds trying out, after having waited several years to turn 16 and try out. However, this season, the lower age limit was dropped to 15, and the first 15-year-old girl to audition for IDOL made it through to Hollywood, which sent out an encouraging message to other young applicants. Speaking of applicants making it to Hollywood, I felt that the judges seem to have been rather lenient with those auditioning, even saying yes to several wannabe singers who were off tune and tempo.

While Randy’s always seemed the fair judge of performances, in the premiere, he seemed to be the toughest one. Maybe Steven and Jennifer are taking their time to settle in, but they seemed to be happy with almost all of the audition performances in the premiere. Steven, who, I imagined, would be a tough judge, seems to be quite soft and gentle, which was interesting to see. On the other hand, Jennifer seemed visibly uncomfortable about having to say no to some, and even wondered out loud why she had signed up for this tough task. Beyond that, I think they were both fine. I really liked how they were quite comfortable judging together and even getting along with Randy. Ryan Seacrest continued to do his job with perfection. His interaction with those auditioning and their families is really endearing, because he seems to comfortable with complete strangers, and even lends his shoulder to offer some comfort to a few. One of the best hosts I’ve ever seen on television, I’m just glad he’s still a part of IDOL even after nine seasons.

So as we look forward to the rest of the season, and as I hold my breath till we have our top 12 of the season, here are a few things I’m hoping for this year: A J-Lo week, when everyone has to perform one of her songs, an Aerosmith week, and a performance by the cast of GLEE, since both shows are from FOX. I’m looking forward to big things this season. I only hope that the new judges become a little tougher, because without Simon on the panel, there needs to be at least one person who can be harsh without making any apologies for it. I think Simon is the only thing I’m missing this season, even though I really liked Ellen and Kara as judges as well. Being a fan of Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s songs, I’ve been excited about this season for months, and I sure hope the show keep up with the good start they’ve made in S10.

What did you think of the premiere, the new judges and the new opening credits? Comment here and vote in the poll alongside.

COMING SOON: The 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards


  1. i've never really understood why american idol has such a huge following.

    now, with simon cowell gone, aren't they overdoing the cashing in on the popularity of the show?
    i think the producers should bow gracefully and call it a day.

  2. As long as there are viewers, and as long as Fox is making money out of keeping the show alive, it's going to stay. I don't think that's a bad thing in any way. It's way better than a lot of shows, especially in its genre. As for Simon's absence, read http://www.television-talk.com/2011/01/and-idol-2011-continues.html for my views on that.

  3. I think this season has been quite interesting and despite the fact that I thought I would hate the show after Simon Cowell was gone I think J Lo and Steven Tyler have a style of their own. I particularly like J Lo the best of the bunch so far. Randy was always the judge I disliked and I still think he's the worst on the panel despite being there the longest. One thing I really dislike is how each season they try to increase the 'against all odds' contestants just to get sympathy or whatever,it's just plain annoying. I still think Simon was the best judge the show has had but I feel the transition they have made with the new judges has been quite smooth.