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This ... is ... ''American Idol''

By admin Published: January 17, 2007

Night 1, Starting a little late -- thank goodness for DVRs -- but tuning in. First question of the night: If you're in a stadium full of people, told to scream ''I'm the next American Idol,'' do you really want ot make a funny face on camera? Don't you want that to be a wonderful clip in case you win -- and not the only way people will notice you if you don't get past the auditions?

Well, don't you?

Anyway, we're in Minneapolis and Ryan has managed to forget how Prince snubbed everyone last seaons and Jewel is a guest judge and a little blonde is crying over the opportunity to be thrown to the sharks ... er, Simon. Who proves to be in a deceptively good mood. Let's see how long that lasts.

Oh, dear.

We'll overlook the idea of singing a Jewel song IN FRONT OF JEWEL. Not good. Simon is in cheery sarcasm. Randy tries to get Jewel to pass judgment. She just passes. Paula tries to say something encouraging. (How about, ''I am sure you were tired and having technical difficulties from the satellite feed''?)

Oh, the auditioner is crying and begging. This is just sad. And interminable.

And more crying. This is not fun. This is an aching reminder of how much hope people put into this show -- and how they're just meat on the slab for the television cameras.

And 12 minutes in ... the first ''coming up.''

Coming back ... Urban Amish. And some poor kid with a competent voice stood around for hours and didn't get to see the judges because the producers wanted to make room for this joker.

Gee, that sounded awfully cranky for the first 18 minutes of the first show.

And now the annual medley of badness, leading into an individual showcase of badness. I know that the audition shows are famous for the awful contestants, but couldn't we have someone good?

Well. not yet. My heart will go on, but his voice won't. Paula is rubbing her temples. Must be those technical difficulties. Oh, even Jewel is cutting into this guy.

Another ''coming up.'' 24 minutes. Please, tell me something good...

New post after the break.

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