Season 10 of American Idol is underway and our resident Idol expert, Steve Thompson, has published his review of the first episode.  Each week here at, he'll break it all down for us: the talent, the judges, the songs and the votes!   Steve is a pop-culture genius!  You'll be amazed at his insight and knowledge about the music biz!  ENJOY!!

From Steve ThompsonAmerican Idol needs to get real.  For eight minutes we are treated to a rehash of the whole reveal of the judges this season. I suppose there might be a missionary lost in the jungles of Borneo who may not have heard this stuff-- but in a digital age, I wouldn't place a bet on it.  However, the PR team gets an A+.

Calling Jennifer Lopez a triple threat.  Hmm...  I'll bet there's not a movie critic in the country who wouldn't disagree with her being a triple threat based on her last three movies-- but I'll try to be positive.

Ryan says AI scoured the country...  Well, if you've ever been scoured, you know just how painful that can be.

Waiting in the wings-- the true hero of season ten-- Jimmy Iovine.  Trust me-- I'm from the future.

Finally!  Some performances of note and some performers who couldn't find a note if their lives depended on it...

Rachel Zevita made it to Hollywood in season six.  She sings one of my favorite songs of all time with "Hallelujah."  So what's the problem?  I didn't recognize the song.  However, she makes it to Hollywood in season ten.

Caleb Hawley sings a cool version of "Hallelujah I Love Her So."  Already I think I'm gonna like Steven Tyler.

Kenzie Palmer sings a nice version of "Beautiful" and also gets a ticket.

 As for the girl from the Ivory Coast who tried to sing "Dress You Up?"  Neither Ivory nor Coast can float.

Memo to self: Try to avoid the gas station where Mary and Larry work.  This won't mean anything to those of you who don't see the Kentucky Lottery commercials-- but mark my words.

Just when I was about to write Tiffany Rios off as a novelty act, she sings a surprisingly strong Celine Dion song.  Not sure if she's really that good or if she's just fodder for the future.

One of my favorites of the evening-- Robbie Rosen does a nice take on "Yesterday."  He was once paralyzed and had to learn to walk again....  Yeah.  Typical of AI to go there-- hopefully we won't be reminded ad nauseam.

I see where goats are singing jazz in New Orleans now.  What Katrina hath wrought...

Chris Cordeiro tried to sing Frank Sinatra.  This was so bad you half expected Ol' Blue Eyes to make a call to some of his associates...

Love the Steven Tyler reference (from Cool Hand Luke): "What we have here is failure to communicate."  If you've never seen the movie-- it's a classic.

What to make of Ashley Sullivan, the Britney Spears fan with the Broadway voice?  Hard to say.  Was that the call for lifeboats I just heard?

Victoria Huggins sang a decent version of "Midnight Train to Georgia."  Her personality might be better in small doses, but I tend to say that a lot.

Melinda Ademi, the girl from Kosovo, did a nice job on her song as well.  A lot of feel good stories to be mined for future broadcasts.

Devyn Rush does a fantastic job on "God Bless the Child."  Very impressive.

I'm generally a dog person, but the news story about the cat attacking a picture of Justin Bieber is enough to start a Facebook page.

Speaking of attack, what to make of the Japanese fellow attempting Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA?"  I guess we now have proof that Miley sings better than somebody.

Briell Von Hugel sings "Endless Love" and sings it brilliantly.  I hate that song with the passion of a thousand Na'vi warriors, but by golly she did the song justice.

Finally, Travis Orlando does a nice version of "Eleanor Rigby."  Interesting that two of the better performances were of Beatles ballads.

According to Ryan, there were 51 folks who got tickets to Hollywood.  We were shown 11 of the 51 by name and performance, so it's very hard to judge if we've seen any contenders yet.  The talent we saw seemed rather impressive by the last few seasons standards-- but maybe that's just my imagination running away with me.

The girls seem to be much stronger than the guys and rumor has it (but not scout) that there will be no gender equity this year.  If that's the case, one of these sixteen year olds might have a strong shot.

Thursday night, an hour of auditions in The Big Easy.  We'll see, won't we?