American Idol Season 10 Premiere: What Did You Think?

It’s a beautiful daaaaaay! Those were the lyrics that closed out Lee DeWyze’s season 9 victory march on American Idol, but they’re also mighty applicable at this very moment, given that the nation’s most popular reality competition returned to the airwaves in fine form tonight after a seven-and-a-half month hiatus.

Admittedly, night one of Idol 10.0 wasn’t its most thrilling installment of all-time ever, but the show’s increased emphasis on truly talented singers — and its decision not to belabor audition packages from the talentless, the deluded, and the attention-craving — made for a zippy, feel-good 120 minutes. And while the season premiere lacked Simon Cowell’s addictively salty bitchery, it benefited greatly from Steven Tyler’s stream-of-righteous critiques. Yeah, sometimes it takes a beat to translate the hoots and howls and adjectives emanating from the Aerosmith frontman’s giant mouth, but he’s already exhibiting solid instincts when faced with young, unpolished talent. His “I wasn’t feelin’ the pizazz” feedback to big-voiced-but-soulless 15-year-old Kenize Palmer was spot on, even if he eventually caved and said “yes” to giving her a Golden Ticket.

And while I’m not certain we saw the eventual Season 10 Idol champ during tonight’s telecast, there were plenty of Top 10 (or perhaps Top 13) contenders in the mix. Among them: adorable Robbie Rosen (who infused “Yesterday” with youthful charm); polite Staten Island teenager Brielle von Hugel (who resisted the urge to vibrato “Endless Love” to death); and deeply annoying but undeniably talented Victoria Huggins. (Interestingly, Victoria embodied the evening’s two major Golden Ticket trends: The judges were kind to teenage vocalists, as well as singers who entered the room looking like punch line fodder but turned out to have serious vocal ability.)

There’s a lot more to discuss — Jennifer Lopez’s debut! Those new opening credits! The fact that one-time Idolatry guest Rachel Zevita is back in Idol business! –but it’s time I got started on my full Idol recap, which will post right here at in the wee small hours of the morning. Until that column goes live, you can head down to the comments section and share your thoughts and feelings about the Idol season premiere, and of course, sign up to follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. cdbabee says:

    Glad to see the Slezer is back for AI 10, but we need idolatry again too not just writeups. Ya need to find another Kristen to give you the beatdown when you start to go all fanboy. IAC delighted to see ur still in the game. On the show looks like Tyler is stepping up well thus far, hope it keeps working when they go live.

  2. iva says:

    hated the sob story of the refugee, the crazie people with good voice and the fact that J.Lo can’t say No, and she can’t say yes either.

  3. AL says:

    Like a lot of long-time fans of this show, I’d be lying if I said that Simon’s absence didn’t make me a tad nervous. Yes, Idol has brought in newbies before, but from the outset Simon was a such a dominant personality that prior changes were like adding or subtracting something other than Chicken from Chicken Soup.

    Simon’s departure, it would seem, meant a whole new recipe.

    BUT…In an ironic (and happy) surprise, it still tastes like chicken!!!

    I think tonight’s debut episode of Idol P.S. went off like many of its precursors–and that’s a grand thing. Plus, there’s an added storyline now that we haven’t had before: The maturity of the new Judging Dynamic.

    Clearly, S.T. is the new ring-leader–and achieves credibility in a whole new way. I especially liked his bravado when he promised to make the Liza Minelli girl something. It introduced an element of tutelage that resembles the X-Factor more than any previous version of Idol. Instead of looking for the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL, these judges seemed more concerned with look for WHO-THEY-COULD-HELP-BECOME-THE-NEXT-AMERICAN-IDOL.

    Same show with a new layer. Simon’s acerbic wit was notably missing, but perhaps toning down the meanness was a necessary sacrifice to restore some of the soul that more recent seasons had lost in the name of cynicism. There’s a good chance that season 10 hopefuls will take to the stage as just that. All too often in recent years, the more apt description has been fearful.

  4. Bobby says:

    Didn’t watch it and probably won’t until the final 10, if at all.

  5. GingerSnap says:

    Loved the feel of the show! Jennifer Lopez is what AI wanted Paula to be . . . intelligent and articulate. Love ST’s wit and I think he’s gonna be fun to watch.
    Here’s hoping the show produces an Idol you can root for and who can SING.

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