Yeeeah, it’s time to talk some Idol. I put it off as long as I could could, but now auditions are over, we’re through with the first round of Hollywood, and it’s time to regroup and take inventory.
I have to say, a lot of people like to watch Idol starting with the top 12 because they think everything before that is a waste of time, but I’m the opposite. By the time the top 12 rolls around it’s all about who’s getting cut, which is compelling stuff, but it’s also SO frustrating and heartbreaking so much of the time. This early part is all about discovery; it’s about people with raw talent stepping up and showing off their chops, and that’s the fun part for me. This season had the best auditions I’ve ever seen on Idol – not, mind you because of that age-old AI mantra “this season has the best talent ever!” – but for two reasons. One is that the producers finally decided to focus on showcasing the talent rather than laughing at the rejects and “comedians” (in quotes because they’re almost never funny). The other is the new judging panel, which is KNOCKING MY SOCKS OFF. In the past 9 years there’s been this weird archetypal paradigm in which a judge could either be smart and an a**hole (Simon, Kara) or nice and otherwise useless/hilariously incompetent (Ellen/Paula respectively). J-Lo and Steven Tyler have brought to the table a genuine love of music, a respect for each contestant’s humanity, and the radical notion that a judge can be knowledgeable about music and not be a d*ck about it. The hater-free clause in my contract precludes me from talking about Randy Jackson at this time. Let’s leave it at that.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh no! I didn’t realize that Idol was (still) capable of pulling out total awesomeness and I missed out on all the auditions! How will I know who to root for now that I am joining the party late?” Well worry not dear friend, I’ve got you covered. I’m going to boil it down for you from 7 cities worth of auditions to 7 contestants who have the total TTATA package. My criteria are basically the same as RuPaul’s; charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Except lets replace ‘nerve’ with ‘not being shoved down my throat by the producers’ because that automatically makes me like you less.
#7. Jackie Wilson: The diva with the straight up ridiculous pipes
#6. Devyn Rush: The lovable every-woman who KNOWS her way around her instrument
5. Scott Dangerfield: The unassuming charmer with the silky smooth vocals
4. Janelle Arthur: The down-home country gal with a voice like BUTTA
3. Scotty McCreery: The small-town country boy with the unbelievable range
2. Emily Anne Reed: The old-school throwback who is SO CUTE I WANT TO THROW UP!!!!! GAAAAAH!!!
1. Casey Abrams: The funny looking dude who… oh just watch:
SO, them be the ones to watch! I’m already bracing myself to have my heart broken re: Ms. Emily Anne, but all of my picks seemed to make it through the first round of Hollywood (Scott D appeared to be MIA from the episode) so here’s hoping for the best. I’ll be keeping you updated – whether you like it or not – on these guys and other totally awesome Idol folks who might pop out of nowhere Siobhan Magnus-style as the season goes on!