Although she is a Canadian chick Mother Hen is a longtime fan of American Idol. Since Canadian Idol bit the snow (not dust) a couple of years ago, she has to get her Idol fix from the States. Such is the condition of entertainment in the Great White North!
There has been a lot of sniveling on the Internet over the departure of Simon Cowell from AI.
“It’s just not the same.”
“Nobody tells it the way it is like Simon.”
“It just isn’t Idol without him!”
Oh, quit your whining, you big babies! The judge you loved to hate would tell you to suck it up and get on with it as well. Simon may have been stuck on himself, but at least he was a realist.
Mother Hen will now set the record straight on how the new panel is performing.
Steven Tyler A-
Well, burn my britches and call me Skippy – American Idol done gone and got themselves a real, honest-to-goodness rock star! It’s official, folks: AI finally got the message that Americans actually like rock and roll! Maybe Elvis isn’t dead after all.
Surprisingly, neither is Mr. Tyler, and, yes, that is a good thing. After spending the better portion of his years on earth swilling, snorting, and shooting up, he is as sober as a judge, or at least an AI judge.
He is also hilarious. Whether he is lifting his shirt and comparing abs with Randy, providing contestants with percussion and backup vocals, or doing deadpan reviews full of insincere compliments, ST has injected (okay, pun intended) the show with great energy and fun.
One definite drawback is Mr. Tyler’s penchant for flirting with every attractive chicklet who sashays across the stage. Note to ST: You may have been a sex god in your day, but you are now 62 and a grandfather. Get over yourself and quit drooling.
Mother Hen realizes that she should subtract points for the nasty f-bombs that Mr. T. regularly chucks into the dialogue, but the cussing is never malicious and after all, is bleeped out. Between that and how astonished he looks that the F word isn’t acceptable on family TV, for now MT will let him off with a warning.
Jennifer Lopez A
Ms. J. Lo is a younger, classier and more credible version of the dearly departed Ms. Abdul.* Her initial reluctance to utter the word “No” has gradually faded, and she is showing a capacity for delivering firm but sympathetic “nadas.” When Ms. Lopez’s large Bambi eyes fill with tears, as they are wont to do, it is touching, not cloying and annoying. She truly seems sincere.
Ms. Lopez also has an effortless stage presence that is refreshing. She doesn’t feel the need to try too hard, unlike certain female judges of the past who shall remain nameless (because we all know who they are anyway). Managing to be a celebrity without being a diva is an art form, and Ms. Jenny seems to understand that the real stars of the show are in front of the judges’ table, not behind it.
Mother Hen likes her. Yes, indeedy, she does!
*Yes, Ms. Paula is still alive. Her new TV show? Not so much.
Randy Jackson B+
As the only known quantity left on the American Idol panel, Mr. Jackson should be a comfortably predictable presence for the audience…but it seems to Mother Hen that “The Dawg” is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis this year. No longer the hippest or most qualified judge, Mr. Randy appears to be settling into the traditional role of the man on the right: the meanest. Apparently he has been hanging around Mr. Cowell too long.
Now don’t misunderstand Mother H. Nobody is about to take the title of cruelest man on AI away from Mr. Cowell – not a chance! Still, when she hears proclamations of “Terrible!” and “That was just awful!” coming from that side of the screen, MH misses the lovable guy who used to sit on the left. Even if he returned to, “I don’t know, dude. It was all over the place for me, man,” it would be an improvement.
Honestly, American Idol doesn’t need a resident meanie. No one could pull off a Simon but Mr. Simon himself, so why try? We still love you, Dawg – just be yourself and it’ll be cool!
As a group, this panel clicks. There is no tension or underlying hostility. The mood is lighter, and when the judges have more fun, so do we.
Rejected contestants still cry or complain or give the camera the finger. They still think they are the best thing since scrambled eggs and will never give up, no matter what anyone says. One thing is different. As they rampage out the door, unsuccessful candidates can no longer demonize a certain critical judge. The new panelists are all pretty darn likeable, and that, dear chicks, is a very good thing.