Yes, the pop cultural monster machine that chews up any other television program in its path is back tonight on FOX. This season, the eighth, has several differences from seasons past.
First, the producers are throwing in yet another judge to the panel, making it an even four. Considering four has no tie-breaking abilities being an even number, I say, hey, go to five while you’re at it. The Hoff has some time off, bring him to the show. Since no one of any importance on the show listens to me, they’re sticking to four. This fourth judge added to the karaoke reality show, Kara DioGuardi. The first time I had really heard of her she judged the defunct and completely awful wanna be to A.I., a show called “The One”. Heard of it? No biggie since only about 4 people beside my Idol pal, Chancelucky, and I watched it. Oh yeah, she’s also written a few pop numbers and even wrote for Taylor Hicks’ eponymous album.
Nigel Lythgoe, who quit Idol last year had said he did not want another judge for the panel, because afterall hearing what an absolute failure of a singer you are once is bad enough, but to have it reiterated fourfold a bit much. Considering how well his “So You Think You Can Dance” does in the ratings I’d not call him a stupid guy. She’s also the youngest member of the panel so perhaps the show believed that a benefit considering all the other judges are hitting the mid-century mark, albeit all are quite well
Second, the “Wild Card” round will return, something forgotten about a few seasons back. Hey, it’s how Clay Aiken stuck around in the second season – it also sheds light over which judge is biased for what contestant. With four of them in the mix that may haul four more contestants back in the ring for the battle of the fittest.
Third,the ever special “Idol Gives Back” won’t be back this season. The charitable event that tries to make the show look like it truly is about making dreams come true has been canned for this year. Guess last year’s event did not go over that well. Never heard Seacrest bragging about the gazillions raised this year like he did the previous season. Likely those gazillions did not materialize…
Fourth, instead of 24 finalists making it to the real competition and national showtime we’re to see 36 this year. Yes that’s 12 more dreamers for the television audience to
dig dirt up on follow on their path to the higher ground of the fame mountain.
Last but not least,there will be more emphasis on the Hollywood round. Now before anyone gets excited thinking that with these changes the show may last until next July, the number of shows remain the same. Sadly there will be fewer audition shows, and less of the more colorful characters that make the initial weeks so endearing for me. Concentration cited as being more focused on the aspirational singers, less on the ever enjoyable ‘train wreck’ performances. One of my favorite such performances came from my city, yes, Dallas brought Idol this guy –
certainly the season would have been less bright without Simon Cowell’s biggest fan.