Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez debuted as judges on American Idol last night (Jan. 19), and let’s just say the jury is still out on them. Neither offered much in the way of illuminating comments as the show plodded through its first night.
Lopez and Tyler are replacing Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres. Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest, who have been with the show from the outset, are now the program’s anchors.
But the format by now is starting to look pretty tired, and without Cowell’s acerbic comments, which often turned the auditions into a blood sport, it was difficult to watch the tone deaf, off-key contestants whom the producers insist on giving airtime.
After all, half the show’s attraction was watching Cowell, and to a lesser extent the other judges, humiliate wannabe American Idols who had the audacity to think the could sing.
But all that is gone, or at least, considerably toned down for the moment. Whether it’s just a matter of Tyler and Lopez growing into the job, or whether their short, tepid comments are all we can expect, remains to be seen.
Lopez didn’t seem to have the heart to break the bad news to even the worst contestants, and admitted as much.
‘Oh, my God, I hate this! Why did I sign up for this? I want to go home,” she bemoaned.
Not surprisingly, New York student Rachel Zevita, who first auditioned in season six and was rejected, got by this crew.
“Water that flower because it’s going to grow. I think you have what it is is. You have to redirect it,” Tyler gushed.
Cowell would have dismissed her out of hand.
It wasn’t long before Jackson expressed some frustration with his two new colleagues.
Contestant Ashley Sullivan got through, with a votes from Lopez and Tyler, after making an emotional plea.
“They’re both insane,” said Jackson, who voted a resounding “no.”
American Idol Season 10 auditions continue tonight (Jan. 2) with another two hours of auditions from New Orleans.
At this point, it’s hard to see how Tyler and Lopez are going to improve the show. Although still one of the most watched shows on television, the program has lost six million viewers over the past four years.
Meanwhile, Idol winners have for the most part become journeymen performers. Recent winners Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze have seen their debut albums sell poorly.
It also remains to be seen how Cowell’s new show, based on a similar format affects ratings. He is bringing his UK talent show X-Factor to the U.S.
American Idol is based on the same program. Lopez and Tyler hopefully will have their game on by the time Cowell’s show debuts.
Otherwise, American Idol may go the way of some many of its winners — into obscurity.