Idol Wired: New Judges: So Far, So Good!

American Idol has returned! I have to say, I’ve been quite hesitant about season 10. I am not someone who is fond of change, so with Simon Cowell leaving last season and Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez coming on board this go ’round, I have been very skeptical about how well season 10 could go.

Good news, I think Idol has a fighting chance at being pretty entertaining this year. I’m really happy the judges seem to be taking this season seriously for the most part.

To be honest, I haven’t watched the audition rounds prior to “Hollywood Week” since around season five. I really don’t like the bad auditions. I feel like the show wastes a lot of time on them, but tonight’s premiere seemed to have a good balance between good and bad auditions.

I definitely feel like Steven Tyler is going to be the fan favorite. The man is crazy and it will make for good TV. The censors at FOX are going to have a field day with him when the show goes live in a couple months.

Jennifer Lopez was disappointing at first, because it felt like all you had to do was cry in front of her and she’d let you through to the next round.

I think she’s definitely going to be the nurturer on the judging panel like Paula Abdul was. I think Lopez has a lot of empathy for the contestants, but she is going to have to learn how to utilize the word “no.”

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Randy Jackson is over the moon about being in Simon’s old spot on the panel? You know he just couldn’t wait until it was his turn to give the final word.

I think Jackson is really trying harder to put his foot down, but with Lopez wanting to let everyone through, he’s kind of just letting her walk all over him. Part of me wonders if he was just doing that because it was their first day of auditions. Another part of me wonders if he’s going to be a pushover all season, because the star power on the panel wants to have all the say.

As far as contestants go, there were only a couple that really stuck out to me right away.

Fifteen-year-old Kenzie Palmer sang Carrie Underwood’s “Young and Beautiful.” In my opinion, I thought she had a strong audition. She’s got a fantastic voice and has a good chance to do well in the competition.

The other contestant that stood out to me was 16-year-old Robbie Rosen. He sang The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” It was a clean vocal. He’s got a good voice for pop music. Steven Tyler said that Rosen was “the best of New Jersey.”

Overall, I felt pretty underwhelmed by most of the talent. I think once “Hollywood Week” rolls around, that’s where we’ll start seeing the talent.

One thing the premiere was not light on was sob stories. There was the contestant whose father had cancer and the girl from Kosovo. The episode wrapped with the kid who had been living in a shelter with his family.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for learning more about the contestants, but I would rather hear them sing first before I learn their back stories. I think once a contestant has made it past “Hollywood Week” and is going to be around for a while, that’s when I want to hear their interests and whatever stories they have to share. I feel like the beginning rounds should be influenced by talent only.

So Idol fans, what did you think about the season 10 premiere of American Idol? How are you feeling about the judges? And what contestant stood out to you during the New York/New Jersey auditions?

Originally posted at BlogCritics.

Idol Wired >> Five Changes I Hope to See During ‘American Idol’s’ Tenth Season

It was a long summer, fall and start of winter, but American Idol is back for their tenth season and I am ready! New judges, new contestants, and a new feature! Welcome to “Idol Wired”!

Alright, so my favorite reality show that drives me crazy on a weekly basis from this Wednesday through the end of May is back, and I came up with what changes that I would like to see this season as American Idol turns 10.

Keep the spotlight on the contestants

There have been shake-ups at the judges’ table since season eight, which have garnered much more attention than deserved. I think once the initial shock of the new faces at the judges’ table wears off this season, the show needs to adjust it’s attention back to it’s contestants.

I think one way to do this is to show more of the contestant’s personality in the pre-performance videos. Last season we learned that Lee DeWyze worked at a paint store. What we didn’t learn is that he’s fairly hilarious. Most fans learned this during the summer Idol tour meeting him before and after the shows.

I think over the past couple seasons, the audience really hasn’t been able to connect with the contestants, which is in part why last season wasn’t as successful as previous seasons.

Judges should be clear and concise with their post-performance critiques

I think the judge’s critiques on Idol should be like Twitter. You need to get out what you want to say about the contestant’s performance in 140 characters or less. I feel that the judges should be able to let the contestants know if they liked or disliked the performance with a reason backing their opinion in a reasonable amount of time. Plus, if the judges didn’t talk so much it could allow for slightly longer performances from the contestants.

No more lip-syncing during the group numbers

One of the things that bothered me during both seasons eight and nine of Idol was the very apparent lip-syncing during the group numbers. I know that a lot of the time they pre-tape the group performances before the live elimination, which means there really isn’t any excuse for not singing live. I don’t care if they have to auto-tune the crap out of the vocals, but singing live would be more legit than shooting a live music video.
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