We all have trepidations about the new Idol changes, but people who have watched the screener of the first episode (which airs tonight) tell me the FOX reality show has finally returned to its roots!
Do you remember the first season of American Idol? I do. It was 2002 and FOX was trying out a little reality show in the US that had become huge overseas. America fell in love with two virtually unknown singers, Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson, and eventually elected Kelly as its first American Idol. I remember sitting on the sofa with my sisters in our family room den in a small town in Montana, voting for Kelly over and over again on our land line. Although simple, the show was inspirational and visceral…and it accomplished exactly what it set out to achieve.
Flash forward eight years to 2010: it was season 9 and the legendary American Idol had started to fade, losing much of its mystery and excitement. Unlike Kelly, the season 9 winner, Lee Dewyze, was hardly recognized or remembered by those outside the Idol cult. Judge Simon Cowell had mentally checked out and was already focused on his next projects and Kara Dioguardi was largely unpopular in comparison to former judge, Paula Abdul. Needless to say, the hit show had lost the “it” factor and the end seemed impending.
That is, until season 10 — the year American Idol got its groove back. Even though I was ready to give up on the series, I’ve been told from several close ( and unbiased) sources who’ve watched the screener of the upcoming season premiere (which airs tonight) that this year is just as good — if not better — than the first season we all knew and loved.
Why? Apparently, the new judge panel — Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson — mean business. They are actually searching for talent, instead of playing up gags and routine jokes. On that same token, the city auditions aren’t going to rely entirely on outlandish characters and old guys singing about pants on the ground. Yes, we’re really going to see true talent in the audition weeks instead of nonsensical sketches, which means the first month will be worth watching again!
Idol has enjoyed massive success throughout the world for a simple reason: it gives people hope. There’s nothing better than watching someone come from nothing and earn the opportunity of a life time. It’s not rocket science…the Cinderella story sells — and I, for one, am excited to buy it again!