1/15/2008 – Season Seven Premiere, Philadelphia, PA
Well, here we go again with another season of American Idol! Tonight’s premiere got things started in the traditional style, with wildly varying singing skills, as well as a large standard deviation on the sanity scale. The shtick of putting through painfully untalented contestants for either tragic mockery or pitiable foolishness is growing old. This is a singing competition and the things that count are voice talent and charisma, period. It’s also nice to get the backstory for the contestants, such as the young lady tonight whose daughter had a neuromuscular disease – she sang her heart out, made it to Hollywood, and couldn’t have had a brighter or sunnier personality, in spite of the challenges she must face as a young mother.
I’m not sure if I respect or detest the AI producer’s decision to stick so closely to the show’s formula. On the one hand, it’s nice to see a show that doesn’t have a neurotic need to be “new” and/or “different” and/or “revolutionary”. AI has a good formula and they stick with it. On the other hand it is also a bit predictable. But in the grand scheme of things, given a choice of something “new” (and probably stupid) and “old”, I’ll take the tried and true, even if it is a bit stodgy.
Overall the contestants were what you would expect for the opening tryouts. A dash of crazies, a handful of pathetically misguided souls, a whole lot of mediocrity, and the tiniest pinch of really good singers. It’s still too early to spot any great ones, but there was some great potential and we’re looking forward to seeing the rest of the tryouts and getting to freaking Hollywood!