As regular readers know, American Idol is the only "reality" show I watch (unless you count Mythbusters or Sci-Fi Science as "reality," which I don't, since "reality" is nowadays used in quotes, which means that it actually has little relation to things rooted in reality, because "reality" shows are just basic narratives comprised of untalented famewhores being craftily edited into something resembling a marginal at best story, and the latter two shows I mentioned shockingly feature people with brains and discernible skills doing something interesting and thought-provoking). Originally, I started watching because my regular Wednesday night trivia friends loved the show, and by watching, it gave us something fun to talk and debate about between questions and pitchers of beer. I continued watching because, with the magical aid of a DVR, I could fast forward through all the things I loathe about "reality" shows (packaged "highlights" and sob stories from "real life," people saying things that aren't scripted by professional writers) and quickly get to the meat of the show, which is people singing songs that you've heard before, and one knowledgeable and entertaining judge (and 2 or 3 superfluous morons) commenting on them. Also, I could ignore the show during the first month or so of each new season, when it was packed with bad auditions and backstories that would fit better on a local cable access telethon, and wait until the Top 12 debuted, when the show became more about the actual "competition."
So, that's where we are now. I know virtually nothing about the results to date, other than what's been absorbed by pop culture osmosis. Ellen is in, replacing (mercifully) the loopily incoherent Paula. (I never got the love and appeal of Paula. Yes, she had a few hits back in the day, but was more a performer than a singer, and her "analysis" was basically cheerleading spliced with upchucked rainbows, through the filter of a dictionary-impaired word jumble. Surely Ellen is an improvement, as she is also a performer, albeit a more polished and cogent one). This is Simon's last year. Kara is still there, and despite an impressive CV on paper, was annoying and contradictory last year. And Randy is useless, dawg. So it will be interesting to see how the panel of judges has shaped up for this critical year. Also, all I've heard about the contestants themselves is that it's been a rocky road to the finals, many of the performances to date have been underwhelming, and presumably, the early favorite is a chick named Crystal.
For many reasons, I'm not particularly enthused about the program this year, but I'll tune in tonight to see if it captures my fascination again. And hey, it's hard to go wrong with the Stones' catalog, right?