American Idol Season 9 Premiere

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Ken Levine Emmy-Winning Writer/Director/Producer, MLB Announcer

Back for another year of reviewing American Idol. Since this is Simon's last it's probably mine too. Maybe next year I'll focus on House Husbands of Hollywood 2.

Season 9 of Idol began with an acknowledgment of all the changes. Paula left the series to pursue obscurity. We were told nine guest judges would appear on the audition rounds vying for Paula's spot and they must've all done fantastic since Ellen DeGeneres got the job.

First up guest-judge wise was the painfully thin Victoria Beckham. My droll daughter Annie, who watched with me, shouted out, "Give her a sandwich! You'd think David Beckham could provide!"


Victoria's musical credentials are impeccable. She was Posh in the Spice Girls. And now Ryan refers to her as a "Fashion Icon". Oh really? I don't think those doily-laced headbands are going to catch on other than for tying your garbage bags. Here's an example of her expert assessment of a singer's performance: "I love the jeans, the shirt."

Posh offered nothing in the way of insight or personality, which still made her better than Kara. How the hell is she back for another year? Kara Dioguardi and Jeff Zucker - the two people who can't get fired. I'm reminded of that great line -- "Who do you have to fuck to get off this picture?"

Randy Jackson is also back - wearing more make-up than Kara, Victoria, and even Ryan. And what was with the Playskool watch? Did "Fashion Icon" Posh suggest that? Randy unveiled some exciting new meaningless catch-phrases for the season. "Doin' it big!" and my personal favorite, "You're a cool guy. Great hang!"

The show started out in Boston. 9000 delusional guttersnipes getting drenched in a pouring rain. And not one of them I'm sure could appreciate the metaphor.

They started right off with a classic nut. Some whacko girl who kept auditioning to the American Idol video game. And when the animated Simon said she was good enough she entered the real competition. She was horrendous. Annie said they should recall the game if it put her through. Her idea of rehearsing, by the way, was to practice jumping.

There was the obligatory parade of idiots -- girls who dressed like Diablo Cody if Diablo Cody was blind and guys decked out like Michael Jackson, the Marlboro Man, and the Burger King. This year's atrocious William Hung Asian kid massacred Eric Carman's "All By Myself". And we had two or three lunatics who mistook grand mal seizures for dance steps. One cretin actually still thought Paula was there.

All of the losers broke down crying. "Simon's wrong!" "I'm a great singer, I know I am." "I just took the steroids to heal faster."

There were heart-tugging stories galore -- cancer and down syndrome and dying grandmothers with dementia. All of these contestants got through to Hollywood of course. You're never going to hear, "Well, you have only one year to live and you can't sing."


Ryan said one contestant got a "One-way ticket to Hollywood." Uh, does that mean he has to pay his own way home? I guess the economic crunch has even caught up to American Idol.

My favorite aspirants: the drummer who broke both wrists after falling out of a tree, some Clark Kent-looking guy who was pissed he had to wait all day (this really irked Kara who intimated that if you're going to make it in the music industry you better have a talent for waiting), and finally - a blond stoner with horrible skin (I love my HD) who said he was going to try to sound like his idol, Chris Brown. Why Chris Brown? Because "he touches young kids all over the world." Yeah, he sure touched young Rihanna. He beat the crap out of her. Stoner Boy was rejected but he was satisfied with his performance. As he said, "I did what I had to do. I hit really loud notes."

More auditions tonight but I'm skipping those because, well, it's the same show as this one. Only the sob stories and costumes will change. Oh, and the guest judge. Not sure but I think it's Captain Beefheart.

Check out my blog!