by pat howard

IDOL VIRGIN | Night one: Boston

In Idol Virgin on January 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

My first full episode of American Idol didn’t engender any strong reactions in me, but instead efficiently recapped the previous season before wading right into this one.

After two hours with these Massachusetts hopefuls, I am now wondering if the local color elsewhere will be as distinctive. I also hope that someone from Proactiv was watching last night’s broadcast, and is formulating a plan to either invade Boston or be present in the holding room at future Idol auditions.

I found the judges to be excessively patient with some extremely unstable or untalented people. I realize we’re two hours into a grueling marathon of a season, and also that Simon is a lightning rod, which is why his impending departure seems like such a crisis for the franchise. After one episode, I have more respect for the man than I ever expected to in my life. I will be curious about his American version of The X Factor, though that is a long way off.

As for the other judges, I like Kara. She seems fiery, to a degree that occasionally distracting. Guest judge Victoria Beckham seemed out of her element, floating somewhere between starstruck and confused about her purpose. Randy, meanwhile, is like furniture. He adds something to the room that you’d miss if it wasn’t there, but I haven’t pinned down what that is.

I address my many questions about the process to my Idol die-hard boyfriend, and he assures me that they’ll make quick work of whittling down the dozens of folks whose hopes they stoke with the Kinko’s version of golden tickets come Hollywood Week, which my Fox press release informs me begins Feb. 9. That is also when new judge Ellen DeGeneres climbs on board.

One night down, and so far it feels like a well-oiled machine of a reality franchise. I don’t even feel ashamed, like I might if I watched The Bachelor or something. It will be weird, though, knowing the context of any Idol clips that turn up on The Soup this season.

Tonight, we’ll chug through another batch of would-be singers, this time from Atlanta.

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