The big news for 2010 in American Idol has been moving on without original judge Paula Abdul. In the first of our new ongoing series of roundtables here on Inside Pulse TV, the crew chimes in on how the first 2 paula-less weeks of the show have been.
Murtz Jaffer – I think American Idol has jumped the shark. Not because of Paula’s departure but because the contestants just haven’t been as good this year. I am hoping we see something during the Hollywood week that we didn’t see during the auditions. I also think that Paula’s absence is irrelevant when Ellen Degeneres finally premieres because she will fill out the role nicely. It’s Simon’s exit that will destroy the franchise. Nothing else.
Joe Corey – Paula is truly missed on that panel because she was the compassionate ear. Kara wants to be a little nice, but she can’t truly embrace the crazy people. Paula also knew how to keep Simon on his toes. Now he’s barely punching the clock as he countsdown to his X Factor payday. He doesn’t care about the show anymore. He’s got nobody willing to truly stand up to his lame antics. Trying to replace Paula with guest singing stars just hasn’t quite clicked cause none of them want to alienate fans. The ratings haven’t collapsed so people aren’t that choked up. She’ll be back for X Factor with a parade of “Paula’s Back” hype.
Josh Clinton – It’s hard to tell what American Idol will be like without Paula Abdul completely, since her replacement Ellen Degeneres hasn’t made her debut on the show yet. But so far the guest judges have been hit or miss. Shania Twain has been my favorite so far. The show is missing a little “wackiness” that Paula provided. Now it seems they are just trying to create and force the wacky antics with Kara being the ringleader in that department. Simon and Randy are just the same, so it will be interesting to see Ellen’s role as a judge in a couple of weeks.
Kevin Wong – I’d almost say that it’s too soon to tell because we haven’t yet seen Ellen (the “permanent” replacement) judging. But based on the guest judging so far, the results have been just fine. Shania Twain was pretty much at Paula level of harshness (that is, not a whole heckuva lot). Kristin Chenoweth and Kara seemed to have way too much fun ignoring the auditions – reminiscent of Padma Lakshmi and Natalie Portman during Top Chef. Mary J. Blige was pretty much what I’d expect from her, and most surprisingly, Posh Spice was kinda harsh, given that she would’ve had to do an audition process to become one of the Spice Girls.
So overall, the change has been fine, and the only difference is that we’re not seeing any judges looking “out of it” thus far.
Tom Daniels – To be completely honest — I don’t know what I think of it yet. I got over the one-note joke that are the audition rounds about two years ago. I boycott them now unless there’s a guest judge I really want to see. Really, I’ve only watched the Kristin Chenoweth audition episode and, really, I didn’t notice the lack of Paula. Maybe I’ll have a different opinion once the voting rounds start, but the Ellen thing, to me, reeks of the “Dennis Miller on Monday Night Football” experiment. As we recall, that didn’t go so well either. It’s not a surprise to me that Simon’s leaving if we’re up to the “stunt casting” portion of keeping the show relevant.
Luke Swinney – Honestly, I don’t miss Paula so far, but I do like Kara so that could be the reason. Some of the guest judges in the auditioning process are essentially useless, but it’s not making me miss Paula quite yet. But that could definitely change as the season moves on!
Tags: American Idol