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(eTN) - Let's face it - there are millions of diehard American Idol fans out there - 26 million tuning in is nothing to sneeze at.
Even so, I began to fall out of love with the show when they brought in Kara DioGuardi as a judge. Why did they think they needed a fourth judge, or did they know beforehand that they were going to need a Paula Abdul replacement? And then, pretty much as expected, Paula left. I licked my wounds and told myself I would keep watching as long as they didn't take Simon Cowell away from the judging table. After all, he and I pretty much saw eye to eye on most contestants. And then Simon announced his last season with the show. That's when I decided it didn't matter who they got to judge in the 10th season, I was no longer a fan.
Then the announcement was made that Jennifer Lopez was going to be a judge. Now that's hitting below the belt – I love Jennifer Lopez; I'm a fan. I wonder if I can still resist tuning into the new season. And then they announce that Steven Tyler from Aerosmith will be the 3rd judge. I'm not much of a head banger, so now I am sure I won't be tuning in. I've made my decision and taken my stance.
Trying to tantalize us before the first audition show actually aired, I saw commercials with Jennifer, Steven, and “The Dog,” and Mr. Tyler intrigued me. Was it his mouth, his hair, his wicked scream? Just because I didn't think I was a head banger, that didn't stop me from voting 157 times for Adam Lambert. He was so fresh, so unique, so full of star quality. So, okay, I plunked myself down in front of my TV last night and tuned in to the first show of the “new” American Idol.
I have not laughed out loud like that in front of TV in a long time. The excerpts of the contestants – both winners and losers – were perfection, slapstick personified. And the magic of the new judging trio was heady – the beautiful and kindhearted Jennifer, the oh-my-goodness but this man is unbelievably sexy Steven with his hair and lips to die for, and the always loveable Randy, who himself looked like he was on cloud nine with his new pals. Even Ryan Seacrest was smiling from ear to ear in nearly every shot.
The format of choosing a few contestants to feature their story was the same, but this year, they were better at picking who they showcased. Before the season has really gotten underway, I find myself already wanting a couple of them to win. What can I say? I'm an American. We root for the underdogs.
And maybe that is what we American Idol fans are – girl and boy scouts who champion the downtrodden, people who still believe dreams can come true, those who still believe in magic. I bet we fans would all have a ball in Disneyland!
I'm still not sure what it is exactly that the producers of American Idol did to lure me in and capture me hook, line, and sinker, but pull me in they did. Maybe that is because I am still bathing in the euphoric glow of the honeymoon phase of a new love. And I'm not going to apologize for that, because what can I tell you, I'm a fan.