Thursday, February 24, 2011

American Idol Redoux Jurl

I was unsure what the eclectic combination of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson would do for the flagging American Idol, or AI to those of us in the loop. I tried to watch last season because I love Ellen, but didn't catch but a bit here and there because watching Ellen on the panel made me uncomfortable like when your drawers are cutting into your thudge (where your thigh meets your torso pudge). In truth, part of the Ellen problem was that I didn't really think she was better suited to critique the would-be Idols than I was. And I was missing Paula's kookiness. Part of the show's allure was Simon's cruel quips and Paula's "I'm having a stroke" moments so without Paula AND Simon how could the show be worth watching? Isn't Steven Tyler on the show like jamming a round peg into a square hole? Isn't adding J-Lo as interesting as adding a propped up broom? Isn't Idol over?

Au contraire mon frere! Steven Tyler doesn't stroke out on us like Paula, but he does behave as if he's drunk and/or high at all times. I believe he is clean and sober, but also believe he spent so much time sauced he still acts as if he just washed down a handful of barbituates with a bottle of Jack. Kind of like when you've been on the water for a long time and then once on dry land you still feel the waves rolling under you. How awesome for Steven Tyler. And how delicious for us! Plus, he is the real deal in music, not a pop-lite diva like Paula. Yes, sometimes his leers cross the line into lechery and yes his ample lips seem to kiss every surface he can get in contact with, but hot damn I love him! Though in truth, I've always been a Steven fan. Jennifer Lopez, not so much.

I think I was on board with Jennifer until she became Bennifer. When she and Ben Afflek hooked up I felt like the apocalypse was on the horizon. Did I think if not for her I had a chance with Ben? Um, no. It just seemed wrong, somehow. Also, she seemed to go from boyfriend to boyfriend to husband to husband like a sad love addict. It just irritated me. So for years whenever she popped up I would make a noise that sounds like a pubic hair was lodged in the back of my throat- ack, ack.

But ack, ack no more! Jennifer Lopez is nice! And thoughtful. And I just love her on AI. Plus she is beautiful. I forgive her for Bennifer, Puffy and the hand gun, too many engagements/marriages and accept her as a lovely gal who judges a singing contest with gentle firmness. You know, I don't miss Simon because he wasn't just mean, he was hateful. And I'm a Simon fan. I get that you love it when he says what you're thinking, but there is a reason most of us operate with a filter, because this would be an ugly place if we always said exactly what we thought. No one would be married or employed. And you can be honest with kindness. I think that is what I enjoy most about this season-- it's pleasant. There is still criticism, heart-breaking let downs and crushed dreams, but with a heart. And I like it.


Last night the judges had to tell Chris Medina he didn't make the final cut. Now, this is a guy who is talented AND has a paralyzed fiance. I get that the show went for super theatrical by making Jennifer give him the bad news, but it still got me. J-Lo's emotional breakdown afterwards broke me down and made me love her even more! Now, haters will say she was acting, but come on! Who wouldn't cry after telling a guy like Chris he had to go home- back to his disappointed, paralyzed fiance and a life of obscurity doing a job he hates?? Only Satan. And maybe Lea Michelle. Just kidding. Satan used to be an angel so he would probably be a little sorry.

The Idol gang encouraged Chris to keep working at it, to not give up, and I really hope he listens to them. There are so many talented people this year I can't imagine how they got down to 24. Well, I guess cutting people like Chris. But, I appreciate that they didn't put him through just because of his personal story. I hope Chris comes back next year.

Finally, the sign that this year's AI is really good- Ryan Seacrest is growing on me. Just a little, tiny bit.

Chris and his fiance:

Meeting the judges (and making out with Steven Tyler)

J-Lo sad to see Chris go. But green is your color, jurl.

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