My DVR is locked and loaded, my remote control is set to stun. Starting next Tuesday (January 12th) at 8pm on Fox, the quiet mid-week tranquility of my living room will be replaced by the pulsating madness we all know and love-hate as AMERICAN IDOL. By the end of last season I was swearing I would never watch again, in a major snit over too many judges and old school, non relevant music. Now...as season 9 approaches..I'm more excited than ever. Why is that? Let us count the ways:
--Ellen Degeneres, surely one of the most likable celebrities on the planet, will be replacing ditsy Paula Abdul as a permanent judge. Unfortunately, she won't be coming on board until after the audition period.
--Rotating guest judges will be filling the forth seat during the auditions and we are excited to say that one of them will be Neil Patrick Harris. I'm mentioning this in the hopes that my Flaming Nose co-founder Lisa might find a tiny spot in her schedule to actually watch AI for once? :)
--American Idol is the only TV program left in the U.S.A. that can be considered a "broadcast" show, instead of a fragmented tidbit targeted to 12 people in East Texas who happen to like bone fishing. It attracts millions of viewers of every demographic and people actually watch it in groups around the same set instead of hunched over a laptop alone. Although the digital component is huge too, including YouTube posts and iTune downloads galore. The only thing not prescient about Paddy Chayevsky's decades old movie "Network" was Faye Dunaway screaming "All I want out of life is a 20 rating and a 30 share". Nothing does that well in the ratings anymore. Except for American Idol.
--This year I have a ton of friends on Facebook that will be poised and ready to comment after each Idol airing. And I work for wonderful BlogHer, where my boss will be blogging about AI too!
Beginning next week the carnival side show begins in Boston, as hapless immigrants in feathered capes and rotund wannabes wearing chicken suits warble their way towards that golden ticket to Hollywood. Mixed in with the hopeless will be the occasional burst of raw talent that brings the goose-bump reaction for this fan. And that's why I keep watching year after year. That...and the chance to spend more quality time with my beloved judge Simon. With comments that combine acid and awe, he is always the voice of reason.
Get ready everybody. The TV doldrums are almost over!