Quick Take: American Idol, "East Rutherford, NJ Auditions"
"It'll take more than a well-tanned fist-pump to make it as the next American Idol." - Ryan Seacrest
Review: American Idol, "East Rutherford, NJ Auditions"
(S1001) Can you believe American Idol has been on for a decade? Half the kids they showed auditioning were fifteen or sixteen at the time -- barely old enough to have existed in a world before this show first aired. And you know what? This new judging panel made up of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez as well as the immortal (really, he hasn't aged) Randy Jackson adds a sparkling freshness to the series. It could easily have burned out by now, but everything is still all sorts of fun and, dare I say it, inspiring.
The first round of auditions took place in Jersey because the place is hot right now I suppose, and boy were there ever so many abs and puffed hairdos! 51 lucky people made it through, and we got to meet such colorful hopefuls as a super-chipper Southern belle, who we will call Pinky McSparklepuff, a lovely war refugee from Kosovo, a kid who used to be in a wheelchair, a returned bump-off from Season Six, Starboobs the Jersey Girl, the awesomely awkward Showtune Popstar, the Singing Waitress, the Hard Knocks Hipster Twin, and all those mercifully-short Montage People.
The entire first half hour, at least, could have been cut -- do we really need to know all about these two huge musical talents (Tyler, Lopez) as if we'd never heard of them before? And this show has been on for ten years. Pretty much everyone on the planet gets how it works, even if they've never actually seen an entire episode. But after that, the auditions zoomed right into awesomeness. Right off the bat, those big-city states brought the talent.
Best of all though is that in all this extra-long premiere episode, the delusionals were kept to a minimum. It's fun laughing at some of the people who are horrible but think they're the best thing since recording studios were invented, but there's only so much that a body can take before she starts feeling mean for laughing at them. Every consecutive time a contestant doesn't understand how bad they are, it's sadder. And thankfully, that wasn't the least bit dwelled on in this episode. We got a megadose of just how talented people in this country are, and a few great sob stories, and a whole lot of Steven Tyler coming on to young girls and J-Lo being the most adorable woman on the planet.
Exactly what we needed.
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