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American Idle?

2010 American Idol Live!  Tour Opener
Cue The Search Party! (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

I don’t know about you guys, but I am pumped up about tomorrow night!  Yes!  American Idol returns to Fox with a brand new line-up of judges.  Now, I will be honest.  Of all the judges to keep, Randy certainly wouldn’t have been my choice, Dawg.  But, it appears we’re stuck with him like a bad case of health department funk.  Joining him in the Dawghouse are Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and Jenny From the Block, J.Lo!

Like everyone else, I don’t really know what to expect with the new season.  I have seen a couple of sneak peaks from the audition tour and Steven Tyler gets bleeped . . . alot.  And, I’m not going to lie,  that cracks me up and makes me want to watch just to see how outrageous he’s going to be.  And, remember, Jennifer Lopez was on the show once as a mentor and I personally thought she gave the contestants solid advice.  So, I think this new mix COULD work, though I will admit I am not thrilled with reports that suggest Randy Jackson will get the final word a.la. Simon.

So, two big questions loom.  #1-  Can the show survive without Simon Cowell, the man whose snide critiques made it world famous?  I think it’s touch and go and depends primarily on the answer to question #2- Is this year’s crop of talent actually going to have talent?

Last year’s season of American Idol was a snoozefest!  Come on!  Cue the crack rocks!  I’m asleep here!  Lee Dewyze.  Really?  Casey James.  Really?  Those were the best male singers the producers found nationwide??  Really?  And, then there was runner-up Crystal Bowersox.  Granted, I liked Crystal but always felt like she was competing on the wrong show and it seemed like she felt the exact same way.  To me, it always seemed Crystal thought she was “too good” for Idol.  Quite frankly, she was.

For American Idol to survive to see Season 11, Season 10 is going to have to give us a real champ, a real Idol!  It’s been a long time since someone has achieved the success of Season 1 champ Kelly Clarkson or Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood!  Season 6 champ Jordin Sparks has had mild success as has Season 7 champ David Cook.  But where’s Kris Allen?  Where’s Lee?  Where’s Season 5 champ Taylor Hicks?  And, where’s Season Two champ Reuben Studdard?  Get the feeling we should be checking the sides of milk cartons??

Why are the people who win this contest NOT becoming stars?  They should be!  And the show should be giving us stars in pop, rock, r&b and country.  That said, I personally hope the producers of the show finally start to recognize the power American Idol has to churn out viable country music artists.  In fact, there have been more country stars churned out of Idol than any other format of music.  Over the years American Idol has given us Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington, Kellie Pickler, Danny Gokey, and, of course, Carrie Underwood.  All these guys and gals have had success (marginal to HUGE) on the country charts!  I hope this season of American Idol gives country more than it’s usual theme week.  Some of the biggest “idols” in music come from our world.  And, this year more than any other, American Idol needs a big old Idol!

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