American Idol auditions destined to make Idol franchise, judges seem even longer in the tooth
Somewhere, right now, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez are listening to some Glee-adoring teenage outcast absolutely slaughter a Lady Gaga standard and wondering - maybe not so much Jackson, but definitely the other two - "what am I doing here, and what the hell happened to my brilliant career?"
Granted, Tyler and Lopez are receiving jumbo dump trucks loaded with cash to be part of the Idol family in the wake of a mass judges' exodus - Simon Cowell, Ellen Degeneres, Kara Dioguardi, we barely knew ye - but this has gotta be at least a little awkward for everyone involved. I mean, was it really so long ago that J.Lo was one of the world's biggest pop/rom-com icons, and Tyler fronted Aerosmith, a band that some once (foolishly) considered heirs to the Rolling Stones?
Yes, that was a long time ago - so long ago that Gimme Noise is willing to lay a few odds on just how this season's auditions will discomfit the judges - and some viewers.
1. Most Idol Aspirants Will Have No Idea Why Tyler or Lopez Are Judges
Pretty much everyone delusional or stupid or shiftless enough to make a grab for fame on this show is roughly around Miley Cyrus's age, which means that unless they deign to do some research, they won't recall J.Lo's last big hit ("Jenny From The Block") or big movie (Maid In Manhattan), let alone the last time Aerosmith cut an album of new material. So get ready for lots of dudes mistakenly complementing Tyler on songs written by The Black Crows or bashful Mariah Carey wannabes giving Lopez props for her nuanced dramatic turn as the autistic caregiver on Parenthood.
2. Of Course, A Couple Idol Aspirants Will Be Nutso Tyler or Lopez Groupies
In which case, steel yourself for mangled, mangy renditions of "Crazy" and phlegm-clogged takes on "Love In An Elevator" and closed-eyes, yowling salutes to "Dream On" accompanied by gratuitous air guitar soloing, and J.Lo stalkers all too willing to remind America why "Louboutons" sucked ass.
3. Rocker Bros In Droves
Every year, more rocker bros - inspired by the soul-bearing examples of Daughtry and Lee DeWyze - shed their backing bands and lunge for the Idol brass ring. This year, I predict that every other Idol contestant will be a bandanna'd, eye-shadow wearing rocker bro because Tyler's a judge, though it'd probably be worse in this sense if perpetual trending topic Bret Michaels were sitting on the panel. So get ready for lots and lots of un-ironic Nickelback covers.
4. Bring On The Divas
This is going to be a brutal one. It was already brutal even when Paula Abdul - whose pop-queen reign was so brief that it's easy to forget that she ever was one, seriously, her choreography career was arguably more significant - was a judge. The number of teenage girls in this country who murder melisma-swamped ballads on the bus, in the shower, in the car, on the street, and everywhere in between - who are, as I type and as you read this, sinking untrained vocal chords into some Mary J. Blige or Demi Lovato or Taylor Swift prime rib - is formidable. J.Lo may be a fallen pop goddess, but there's enough luster left on her that hordes of would-be divas will camp out at huge convention centers in hopes of wowing the woman who almost became Mrs. Ben Affleck with some "Lady Marmalade." You watch; it's gonna be harsh.
5. Like It Or Not, Randy Jackson Is The New Simon Cowell
Now Randy Jackson - the man whose pedestrian, unconstructive criticisms and post-preppy sartorial style were a reliable laughingstock, dude looked like he was either missing bowling night, trying out for a remake of Mr. Rogers, or leaving for a Hawaiian vacation after taping wrapped - is Idol's official elder statesman, its veteran, its decider, its venerable conduit to Hollywood or back to waiting tables or sweeping up at the salon or professional couch-surfing. He's the man, now, which means that vintage Randyisms like "dude" and "that was hot, dawg" and "what's up, dawg pound?" will take on a sage weight, a new gravitas, an intrinsic seriousness. Listen close, this Idol season, for Jackson to yell these things, and know that you're listening to the last coffin nails pounding into Idol's casket.
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