American Idol (2011): Season Premiere

The American Idol tenth season premiere opened with all the flash, pizazz and glitter expected of the long-running vocal talent and popularity contest, not to mention the unveiling of two new Idol judges – Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler and singer/actress/businesswoman/mother Jennifer Lopez. There’s no doubt about it that there was very much a different dynamic in the works with the relative “newbies’” interactions with each other, as well as with long-time Idol judge Randy Jackson. But with their combined experience in the music and entertainment biz relative to their genre and individual audience draw, there is the hope that their pooled talents will bring something more critical to the table this season.

New Jersey served as the lucky first stop on Idol’s luxe cross-country trip and for two hours viewers were subject to — go ahead — the good, the bad and the downright ugly-sounding. To be fair, most of the talent to hear the only three words that mattered that day — “Welcome to Hollywood!” — were good. Decent, even. Maybe even great. Personality aside, while not much differentiated each potential contestant from the other, the vocals were strong and the humility at times even stronger. With only two days in and a lot more people to literally sift through, the guarantee that we’ll ever see these happy faces again this season is at this point nonexistent. But if the moment spent capturing the unadulterated happiness streaming down their individual faces was enough for FOX, then it must have be enough for viewers.

But as far as the bad were concerned…well, they were pretty bad and we’re positive there will be worse. We’re already looking forward to the “Worst Auditions” of the season they show sometime between the fifth and seventh cut or so.

As with any change, new Idol judges at the helm meant some new personalities getting used to. No matter how much you think you know the superstars in their (and the world’s) own right, future pit stops will make sure we get to know J.Lo (can we still call her that?) and Steven Tyler much better. What we know thus far is that Lopez is truly the kind soul of the trio — keeping the boys in check and from running rampant, as it were. Unfortunately, this kindness became the source of head-scratching and -shaking as hopefuls were sent through to Hollywood by way of concerted tear build-up or a plea on the knees. This happened maybe three times — that were captured by the camera. One young woman in particular had, in our opinion, not quite the voice of an angel, but an operatic quality that was different, but not great enough to be noticed. And yet was sent through based on her former audition way back in season two, not her current audition, per J.Lo, at least. Another brought a more Broadway style to the stage, and while Randy and Steven more than unsure about passing her through, Jenny from the Block gave her a yes. Who knows how many have gotten wind that this may be the tactic to get on and through to Hollywood? Being that this occurred multiple times within a two-hour premiere, we feel that we’ve a healthy fear in worrying that this could prove to be an annoyance down the line.

On the whole, we’re excited to see what dynamic the new judges will serve up for us as more and more potential Idol contenders cross enter the audition room, and whether our hands will spend more time over our ears than over our gaping mouths.

What do you think of the new judges? What was the most memorable moment of the season premiere for you?