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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kinder "American Idol" without Simon Cowell, Yawn, Stale Singing Show

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'American Idol' judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez shy away from bad news, singing show is stale

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Thursday, January 20th 2011

What if they gave a talent contest and nobody judged?

Anyone interested in finding out could have tuned into Wednesday night's season debut of "American Idol."

The first time new gatekeeper Jennifer Lopez had to face the essential task of delivering less than sunny news, she threw up her hands and cried, "This is awful. I can't do this."

Even if a contestant had the voice of a deaf yak, she would simply look away, or default to a "deer-in-the-headlights" stare.

When called on to deal with a similar unfortunate situation, fellow newbie Steven Tyler would fashion a pre-set look of empathy and offer a canned suggest the kid plow a less daunting path.

Compared to these two, Ellen acted like a sadistic maniac.

Then again, "Idol" had to do something radical to beat new life into its tainted brand. Having lost their most distinctive voice (Simon's) they seemingly decided to stand out by offering a rebuke to his entire m.o.

Instead of stressing the judges' ability to - you know - judge, the show chose to emphasize their raw star power. Nearly every contestant entered the try-out room in awe, gushing lines like, to J. Lo, "I've looked up to you since I was 4," or, to Tyler, "Aerosmith is my favorite band."

But if the tone at the judges' table radically shifted, the rest of the show hardly lived up to host Ryan Seacrest's declaration at the start that "everything feels brand new."

In fact, everything felt old enough to have been preserved on kinescope.
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