American Idol Recap: The 3 Best Parts of Last Night's Premiere


American Idol's ninth-season premiere, as expected, saw Boston turn out its most attention-needy and/or belly-shirted amateurs. Zig-a-zig-ow, says guest-judge Victoria Beckham. Altogether, two contestants seemed like Top 36 candidates (that's the Jordin Sparks-resembling Ashley Rodriguez, and "At Last" crooner Katie Stephens), and at least 70,000 others seemed like hyperkinetic wastes of time. Luckily, the two-hour festivity had three big perks, and if Movieline can do one thing well, it is ranking things we like.

3. We did not hear one version of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb."

"The Climb" is a likable snackpack of schmaltz, but it's also destined to be the reject anthem of season nine. I expect dozens of teens to caterwaul "that DRAYM I'm DRAYYYYY-MING" with the tunefulness of Joy Ride's serial-killer truck driver. Candy Cane, is that you, dawg? I already dread Simon Cowell's monotone rejoinders to the more terrible renditions. "I see that sometimes I'm going to have to lose, too." "I want to make a mountain move too. On top of you." We're spared until at least tonight.

2. Kara DioGuardi sharpened her spine!

Last season, Kara DioGuardi fielded criticism both for trying too hard with her critiques, and for pandering to contestants too much. This show's not about empathy, Kara. Take that Band-Aid-dispensing-nanny voice to the front row of Maury and wear a blazer. Therefore it was a relief (albeit a stagey spectacle) when she spit dragons at contestant Andrew Fenlon, the smug, late-coming contestant who complained about waiting all day, saying, "'You need a spanking! You need a spanking! That's what you need. You've been very naughty!'' Weird, yes, but at least we know she's got a modicum of headmistress flair.

1. Victoria Beckham thinks actual criticism is not very slimming.

I waited for the wisdom of Project Runway's Nina Garcia to shine through here, particularly the note that her favorite guest-judge in Runway history was Victoria Beckham. Could Vicky follow through with on-point Idol critiques? Not so much! I tallied up my favorite of her bons mots.

"You're nervous, and I like that."

"You look happy."

"It's nice to be polite."

"You have a nice face."

And you have a nice critical vocabulary, Victoria. And the complexion of an old tangelo. At some points, you could see she wanted to claw the air for better words to use, but that would've made her look like a season six Paula Abdul, or worse, the ferocious, cat-scratchy Geri Halliwell. A total "wannabe," you see.

I'll be back with commentary tomorrow, perhaps even in a video version -- because sometimes my visceral terror is best expressed out of text.


  • SunnydaZe says:

    The best part was the montage of Victoria Beckham which didn't include a SINGLE shot of her ACTUALLY singing (or even lip-syncing, for that matter).
    And my money is still on Andrew Fenlon as an improv actor brought in as a ringer...

  • Jojo says:

    "Complexion of an old tangelo".... oh man that was funny as balls. haven't laughed that hard all week... thanks for that!

  • Rachel says:

    Oh man, I love you, L-Boogie. Zig-a-zig-ow indeed. I'm growing to love the number one rule of American Idol: if you hitch your wagon to a disabled relative star, you cannot fail.

  • this sounds like the way we do it in Queensland as well.

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