American Idol: Where was the drama on week 1?

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Despite the pre-hype publicity that preceded the season 12 premiere, not much fur flew on ‘Idol’ out the gate. Still, despite a decline in ratings and little drama, there were high notes.


Hokay … first impressions: This guy’s not impressed.

And a whole lotta people out there in TV Land are riding my same boat. Well, hold on to your big boy pants, folks, because it’s only going to get worse from here.

Or … is it?

In between the 87 folks who made it to the Hollywood Rounds from New York and Chicago, there was some fun and frolickry on the first two nights of American Idol.

“I wanted to be a bus driver at one point.” — Nicki Minaj

You see, I keep grounded in the fact the first weeks of the show are simply the audition weeks. And that’s all they are — the necessary beginnings that need to take place in order to advance to the (much preferred) later rounds of the competition. You and I both know we’re at that point in the show right now many fans despise. (We’re also at those vilified parts which completely turn off any would-be watchers). The audition rounds have always (yes, I used “always”) been the most hated of all on Idol, the parts of the show many, many folks would rather have stricken all together from the airwaves, so I don’t quite understand why so many folks get their panties in a wad over them. Yes, watching many of the possible contestants (the folks auditioning are not really “contestants” in my eyes until they get much farther along in the process), you wonder how they even got to this stage, in front the judges … and then you remember: “That’s right. This is American Idol. Where drama lives.” Because, right now, it is about the drama … nothing more.

So let’s chew the fat a bit about that very thing: “The Drama.”

“I feel like we gel well …” — Nicki Minaj at the end of the first episode … at which point I was on the floor rolling around in uncontrollable laughter

And, huh buoy … do we ever have some dramaticalness going on with the new judges extraordinaire, divas Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. Nicki’s voice is akin to nails on a chalkboard. Her inflections are rampant and her overly dramatized gestures are often just as grandiose as her outfits and hairstyles. (Though I will state she had some comical quotations as shown in this post.) And Mariah? You know, I guess I’ve never really seen her in a “normal” situation, conversing with someone. Because, now? I expect a zipper to slide down the middle of her body and a man to pop out her skin. (That gruff voice could chew glass without much problem.) But that can’t be, because no man — goofy, gay or playing a role — has the kind of haughty, bored and high-falutin’ looks that wash across her face before, during and after a hopeful takes the stage to do his or her thing. And the reactions she comes up with make you want to bop her up along side the head and shout: “Get with the program, Chica! You’re being paid $18 million for the season! Catch a clue, play the part and dump the too-good-to-be-here fakery!” Cripes … Mariah’s making Nicki look good! And that’s really saying something!

Put the two of them in interaction with each other and you’d think you’d at least have something to haggle about at the water cooler. But no … not even that is worthy of mention at this point. (I guess I should have said “supposed interaction.”) Talk about a let down, with all the publicity that’s been bantered about prior to the shows premiere, you’d think there’d be a few fireworks. But instead it’s been as if identical magnetic fields have come into the same vicinity, repelling and banishing each other to opposite ends of the judges’ table. Maybe the Idol Powers That Be are holding out for the real show in the coming weeks between these two, though you’d figure — given four hours of show already on the books — we’d’ve seen something of substance thus far. No sirree, Bob. (And the dopey British accents they keep cropping up with don’t count … not even as camaraderous play. *ugh*)

“You know … we’re wearing the same color eye shadow. That’s why I said no …” — Nicki to one of the female contestants she rebuked

Still … there have been little glimmers along the way that have made us smile or be cajoled (fooled?) into thinking there’s hope yet in the path of the Idol machine. Like Mariah shedding a few crocodile tears at the heart-warmingness of a few of the players in the game. Or Nicki consoling that disillusioned Asian lad who never should have climbed aboard the stage to begin with. And the possibility of Ryan Seacrest being dropped unceremoniously by Bubba, the family member who obviously totes hay bales on the farm the way he was swinging our little buddy practically head over heels in the waiting area, was nifty. You see: It’s “The Drama” … the drama we’ve been waiting for, longing for from the get-go.

Admit it: You kinda missed it … didn’t you? You did. I know you did. You missed the spectacle of the crowds and the noise and the excitement that American Idol was back on the airwaves once again. You missed seeing some of those hopefuls going nutso at being awarded their winning tickets, granting them passage to Hollywood. You even missed seeing a couple of those clueless, tone-deaf Bozo-noses who fooled no one but themselves up there on the stage. That’s some of the drama you missed … and you know it.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t note a couple of the spiffy stories we’ve come to expect from Idol, such as those of Kez Ban and Lazaro Arbos. Both segments are below for your dining and dancing pleasure … because … I know you missed those, too.

See? Fun stuff …

Now, admit one more thing: Regardless of the fact the ratings have taken a bit of a nosedive this season and regardless of the fact you might not have been clicking your heels at the first 240 minutes of Idol, it’s pulled you in one way or another. And you just might find yourself champing at the bit come next Wednesday to see what further monkey business Simon Fuller, et al have in store for you.

You cute little drama lovin’ fool, you …

Photo Credit: FOX

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