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'Idol:' Straight up

Posted by Joanna Weiss  January 13, 2009 09:18 PM

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Yeah, I like Kara DioGuardi. I like that she dresses like a rocker without trying too hard, I like that she knows her way around a pop song, and I loved her reaction to Katrina Bikini, my least favorite contestant from last night's "American Idol" season premiere. Simon was slobbering, Randy got carried away with melisma-mania, Paula took a pass, and Kara told it like it was: The girl's tootsie was much more impressive than her singing voice. (Plus, Kara did sing "Vision of Love" better.) Alas, we'll see Katrina again in Hollywood anyway. But she won't be around for long.

Despite her solo stance on that matter, Kara seemed to fit in well with the judges, chemistry-wise. Or, at least, she didn't throw them out of their groove. Simon was still poking fun at Paula -- in this case, her grand pronouncement about the role collaboration plays in art. ("How do you think 'Straight Up' got written?") Randy still hasn't learned that there can only be 100 in a percent. Actually, I'm not sure Kara knows that, either.

Really, though, this show belonged to the editors, who made an opening montage that, I'm embarrassed to say, made me feel kind of warm and fuzzy -- and seem more emboldened each year to turn the audition rounds into a series of short studies on the nature of weirdness. I felt like I was watching a string of mini-"Napoleon Dynamites," and that some of the Napoleons actually made it to Hollywood. Dude Who Taught Himself to Sing in the Closet, I'm talking about you. I was disturbed, but not surprised, to see the 16-year-old set well-represented. No matter how talented these kids are, they should finish high school first. And anyone who claims to be inspired by Britney Spears should be barred from the televised auditions, out of mercy.

Early contenders? The blonde Southern bartender who sang "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay." Stevie Wright. And that teenaged boy with the long hair and the quasi-interesting voice. He'll do nicely with the tweens, dontcha think?

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15 comments so far...
  1. Liked Stevie Wright, liked the blonde Southern girl, and really liked the last kid at the end who sang Billy Joel. :)

    And Katrina Bikini? That totally made me crack up.

    So glad Idol is back. :)

    Posted by SarahBeth January 13, 09 09:52 PM
  1. Loved the talented kids; hated the jerks with no talent and the producers who gave these fools a chance to be on TV even more. Idol sucks until we get to the final 20.

    Posted by Otis January 13, 09 10:32 PM
  1. Joanna once again you are so close to my feelings that I think you are secretly channeling me. I am so with your assessment regarding the opening; I'm watching that, feeling a bit nostalgic/emotional and thinking "man, these producers are good."

    For the record, I don't think we saw the future winner last night- Stevie was good but she'll get old in short order and I totally didn't get the young drama club kid with the hair. And as far as bikini girl goes, sure her voice was just okay, but I'd have put her through as well because she'll make great TV in Hollywood, everybody will hate her.

    By the way Otis, I love the first couple of weeks of Idol, the delusional are very entertaining.

    Posted by FinnFann January 14, 09 07:26 AM
  1. Last night's show was all about the editing, not just in the first of many opening montage you speak of.

    Posted by FESC January 14, 09 07:56 AM
  1. Will there can a chat today?

    Posted by Alicia January 14, 09 08:09 AM
  1. I hate the kid that learned to sing in his closet and i hope he gets cut first round in hollywood. The way he was talking to Simon was so desresptful that is like back talking your future boss at a job interview. I think Kara was a good change for the show and I like how she is a nice medium between Randy-Paula and Simon. I think that the "rocker girl" that sang Barracuda was very good and the only person worth talking about so far

    Posted by Robbie January 14, 09 08:29 AM
  1. Katrina Bikini IS the next American Idol!

    Posted by mikeybigboy January 14, 09 08:44 AM
  1. For all the talk about "changes", all we got was another arrogant judge (Kara is nothing new or interesting), and the same old slate of whiny, entitled contestants. The only shining light was the girl doing charity work in her spare time, but every contestant now seems to look like a shadow of some other (better) one from a prior season.

    But of course I'll still watch it...

    Posted by Andrew January 14, 09 09:09 AM
  1. At first I wasn't sure that I was going to like Kara because I didn't want her to take away from Paula but I actually think that her presence is making Paula "smarter" or at least making her not be so goofy and have some credibility to her feedback. I am not a fan of the auditions, what, we saw 8 people go through last night? But I still watched. (thought they said they were going to cut down on the silliness). I also enjoyed the montage, think the Baraccuda girl was great, the blind guy was good and had a fantastic story. As for bikini, all I could think is how is her Mom - who congratulated her - letting her run around in that and say that she is going to make out with Ryan? I still like Ryan, think he is great at his job and adorable. I also thought x-ray was cutie - no talent but if bikini got through. Have fun everyone and welcome back Joanna !

    Posted by Jason is a Riot January 14, 09 09:13 AM
  1. Alicia - we'll probably start our weekly Idol chats when we hit the top 12 - though we could consider the top 20 if there's demand. In an unrelated plug, I'll be liveblogging/chatting the Inauguration next week with my colleagues Geoff Edgers and Michael Paulson...should be fun...

    Posted by Joanna January 14, 09 09:37 AM
  1. Jason is a Riot, I totally agree that Paula seemed to be less ditzy, possibly by osmosis from sitting next to Kara? I liked Kara overall, she has that "industry insider" thing, like Simon, that keeps her dispassionate and (somewhat) brutally honest.

    My fave was J.D., the kid who got choked up about "changing my life, changing my family" when talking with Ryan, woah.....and Ryan himself was in rare form, telling Bikini Kill that her offer to make out with him was "something I'll hold on to"! Also almost falling into the Grand Canyon...

    Loved Emily "Barracuda," she is the new Gina Glocksen or RockNRoll Nurse. Also liked the Sensitive Roughneck dude, great pipes -- and I had to laugh at Randy catching himself before blurting out, basically, "When I closed my eyes, you sounded so...black!" :P

    Favorite weirdo was definitely the Three Musketeers guy at the end of the "Dead or Alive" montage...sooooo funny when he finished singing and then deliberately made the Psycho Staring Face, then cut to Randy laughing behind the papers he held up to his face....looking forward to tonight!

    Posted by serafina January 14, 09 10:28 AM
  1. Liked Kara -- and liked that she and Paula seemed to get along so well. Their presence gave the appearance that actual -- real -- judging is going on, with the exception of bikini girl. Kara and Paula are a good team, and you're right, Jason is a Riot, Paula did sound smarter. If anyone should be concerned about their future with American Idol, it shouldn't be Paula after last night's performance. It should be Randy. His "duh" approach is getting old.

    Posted by ISingOutofTune January 14, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Will Fox 25 realize that american idol is NOT news. It was on right before the news, and if we wanted to watch it, we would have. See you in may or june when all this garbage is off the air.

    Posted by plupynut January 14, 09 11:49 AM
  1. Did Idol fire it's Music Editing staff and let an intern with an 80's CD collection do the incidental music? The music was terrible. JAWS? REALLY?

    Posted by Travis Rtich January 14, 09 12:03 PM
  1. Definitely loved Stevie Wright. She's my favorite so far. I also really liked the kid with the long hair and super blue eyes.

    And the guy that "came out of the closet" cracked me up. He has a good sense of humor.

    Posted by tanister January 14, 09 06:12 PM
 

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