OK, like everyone else, I just have to comment on the American Idol attempted “relaunch.” Could the show survive the loss of the mega-watt personality judges? For me (while “old” and not exactly the demo they are looking for, I had certainly been a loyal follower), I “knew” I was done. I was bored of the sarcasm, sick of the “leaked” nonsense about who the new judges were going to be (or not) and 100% not planning on tuning in this year. I was bored. They lost me.
But I caught the first 2011 show by accident. And in little more than 30 minutes, they had me back. 100%. Not because I am a Steven Tyler or J-Lo fan. Not because the singing was necessarily any better than it had been in the past. But because the attitude changed. The personality changed. The show had gone from being a combative, often malicious showcase for the judges wit (?) and sarcasm, to a collaborative, human, sincere, and what felt like fun interplay between judges, who held a lifetime opportunity in their hands, and contestants who were willing to stick their necks out. (Hmm, kinda what the show started out to be?)
While the “loser” or two was thrown in for “comic” relief (Though I loved J-Lo’s comment, “… before your criticize, you stand up here and do it!”), the show was definitely more about strength and courage and talent and accomplishment and giving someone a break, than it was about “high Hollywood standards.” It became about the contestants again and not the judges.
I had loved the show when it was about making people’s dreams come true, ones who would never (likely) have made it through the industry BS or financial hurdles. Yup, I’m a sap. If I want to face hardship and the realities of unfair competition, I’ll just go to work each day. This show had originated and captured our hearts through Kelly Clarkson’s elated tears 10 years ago. Yet by Season 9, it ended up being more of a podium for cruelty and sarcasm. I guess it grew in this direction to change it up and keep viewers. How sad this is what the viewing public wanted (or not?)
But I for one, am glad a little bit of the magic is back. And I am back , too.