Tuesday, January 12, 2010

American Idol: A New Beginning

American Idol begins yet again. And like Christmas or David Copperfield, the magic just isn't the same for me. No, it isn't because Paula Abdul is no longer a judge. It isn't because Ellen DeGeneres will be a judge (once they get to Hollywood). I don't know what it is, really. Maybe I'm getting too old for this stuff. Maybe American Idol itself is getting too old for this stuff.

And so we kick things off in Boston, Mass. It's a rainy start for the thousands in line. That's how it was when I went to Boston to try out at the beginning of season five. I wasn't as excited as a lot of these people. Could be why I didn't even get as far as Simon, Randy, and Paula.

Until Ellen joins the judges, there will be a guest judge for the city auditions. Boston's guest judge is Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice. Can we still call her Posh Spice? I mean, the Spice Girls aren't even a thing anymore. Most of the people watching American Idol probably don't even know that the Spice Girls ever existed.

The first contestant, Janet, has been built up to not make it at all. She's apparently awesome at the video game version of Idol. She must consistently have the game set on easy. 'Cause she's wicked bad. And she thought Kara was Paula. And she might be drunk.

Next up is Maddy Curtis, the ninth of twelve kids. She has a touching family story, being the sister of four brothers with Down Syndrome. She comes to the audition and sings Hallelujah and is actually pretty good. As a 16-year-old, she has a very strong voice. Simon pays her a compliment by saying she's not annoying, apparently this is a rare trait in the teenage contestants. She sails through to Hollywood.

And here's Pat Ford who is a scary kind of outgoing. Usually this kind of personality exposure on this show means that the person will be a very bad singer. Pat is no exception to that rule. Apparently Pat was a sign that the boys in Boston are lacking. But the montage of girls shows that the judges' favor sways toward the fairer sex.

With the next guy, Amadeo, we get to meet his family. It looks like an Olive Garden commercial. His actual audition is a song I don't recognize. He's incredibly loud. If I were a judge, I'd say no. But I'm not a judge. All four of them let him through. And to celebrate he tries to tackle Seacrest. Seacrest out. After Amadeo's celebratory insanity, we meet Derek, a self-described "spiritual" guy who wants to get on the show to touch people. Don't touch me dude. And if he thinks he's a good singer, he's pretty touched... in the head. And we have the montage of nos, complete with tears and an "I was nervous" excuse. Those are always nice.

After another commercial we see the girl without the umbrella, Mere Doyle, who proceeds to butcher Janis Joplin. Atrocious. To make up for it, Luke Shaffer provides some actual talent. He and a couple other guys in the waiting room, including Benjamin Bright, manage to find each other and harmonize very well. Toward the end of day one, we meet Andrew, who possibly has the worst attitude of anyone who's ever auditioned in the history of this show. And it's not as if he's the worst singer in the history of the show, but watching him kind of scares me. He looks like the kind of guy that could snap at any moment. Like, psychotic break kind of snap.

And nearly an hour into the first episode of the season, I'm less than impressed. Thus beginneth season nine. Here endeth my first commentary of the season.

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