It’s almost time for a new season of American Idol to begin and for you dedicated BuddyTV Idol fans, Ellen DeGeneres won’t be the only new American Idol commentator. With your loyal BuddyTV American Idol writer Oscar Dahl having moved on, I’ll be doing my darndest to fill his big funny shoes for season 9 of Idol. It’s a challenge I’m ready and excited for.

So who am I and what are my qualifications for covering American Idol? Let me formally introduce myself. I’m Abbey and that photo is me screaming right back at one of my favorite performers making music today, Mark Redding of The Shackletons. (And loving every minute of it.) Most importantly, as far as I see it, I was actually born to write about music.

My parents named me after their favorite Beatles’ album and the world famous recording studio, Abbey Road. From an early age I was enchanted with music. My parents like to tell stories of me banging away on my high chair to AC/DC as a toddler, and how I scared them nearly to death at age 10 by telling them I wanted to follow the Grateful Dead. As long as I can remember I’ve spent every extra dime and all of my childhood allowance on cassettes, cds, vinyl, and concert tickets.

Loyal BuddyTV readers may know me from my coverage of other shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Next Top Model. But what you probably don’t know is when I’m not at work writing about TV, I’m at home writing about music. For the past three years I’ve written a popular music blog (Sound on the Sound) about Seattle’s vibrant local music scene, as well as doing freelance music writing and photography around the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find me in the front row of concerts most nights of the week. For the past three years I’ve attended on average four concerts a week, I live and breathe live music. While I’ve often chosen live music over American Idol and I can’t claim to have watched every season from start to finish, I consider myself a fan. I tuned in for my weekly dose of Paula and Simon, rejoiced when Kelly Clarkson took the crown, and sang along when Chris Daughtry belted out “Hemorrhage.”

When it comes to what fills my iPod, my taste runs the gamut. I’m a fan of singer-songwriters, rock, Americana, hip-hop, punk, blues, and pop. I admit that I’m more familiar with independent artists found on blogs like Pitchfork and Stereogum than Billboard’s Top 40, but you can find me shamelessly singing along to former Idol winners Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, and Carrie Underwood. People making my favorite music of the moment include The Avett Brothers, Regina Spektor, David Bazan, The National, The Moondoggies, and Nurses. All-time favorites include The Beatles, The Kinks, Johnny Cash, and Radiohead.  I’m a huge fan of swooning harmonies and lyrics that mean something. My favorite vocalists bring a little something unique to the table, so yes, I was a fan of Megan Joy. My favorite Idol of all time is the original, Kelly Clarkson — “Since U Been Gone” is probably my favorite pop song of the last decade, and my cat goes running every time the song comes on, because I’ve occasionally been known to make her drum along.

I am effusive with my love of music and I can’t wait to share that with you. Together, I hope we’ll discover some new favorites during season 9 of American Idol. So despite all of the changes, I hope you’ll join me this season during American Idol. To get this beautiful relationship off to the right start and to get to know you all better, I want to know: Who are your favorite musical artists, from American Idol or otherwise?

(Photo Courtesy of Trickshot Photography)

Abbey Simmons

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV