I thought we’d all get a lie in before American Idol returns tonight, but alas, we aren’t meant to be. Two weeks ago we were planning everything out. Two days ago we saw a storm coming. Yesterday, it rained really hard, and as we started writing about Simon Cowell leaving the show after this year’s winner has been announced, I thought, “there’s definitely something with this season.”

Still, here we are–the ninth season of American Idol, which means another bunch of people who think they can sing, alongside the real talent, and maybe the next person who I’ll root for until the very end. But, as we all know, it’s going to be a bit different. Ellen DeGeneres has come in to replace Paula Abdul, but the replacement came in late, so we all get guest judges over the national auditions in the next few weeks. Here’s the battle plan: we’ll talk a bit about the guest in question now, and maybe later in the day we’ll assess how that guest fared. And, with Simon’s departure confirmed, we’ll see whether that person in question is worthy of replacing that caustic Brit.

Tonight’s guest judge is another Brit: Victoria Beckham, former Spice Girl and current soccer mom. She’s taking over Paula’s hastily-departed seat in Boston, the same city where season 5’s Elliott Yamin auditioned. I only realized just now that this is only the second time Idol went to the home of the tea party–but I digress, sort of.

Of course, Victoria got this guest judge slot on the back of her stint as part of the Spice Girls. Let’s call her Posh from now on–they called her that before because she loved high heels and designer outfits. The Spice Girls were, of course, huge back in the 1990s–I mean, I’m a straight guy and I still sing “Stop” in the shower. They defined the pop scene of the decade through their hit singles, from “Wannabe” to “2 Become 1” to “Say You’ll Be There” to “Viva Forever”, until everyone started to pursue solo careers.

Posh’s solo career was a struggle, as none of her singles hit the top spot in the UK Top 40. Her first solo single, “Out Of Your Mind”, suffered after a heavily-hyped Christmas chart battle in 2000 saw her debut only in second place to Spiller’s “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)”. (Apparently they dubbed that battle “Posh vs Posher”.) Her following single was trumped by Kylie Minogue. Establishing her identity was another issue: a hip-hop album was never released after falling out with her producers. Her most successful single, “Let Your Head Go/This Groove”, charted at number 3. Still, it seems Posh knows how to keep herself in the radar–there were her books, her television specials, her reputation as a fashion icon, and, of course, her husband, football star David Beckham.

I remember writing about Posh’s guest judge stint, being described as “icy” and “wooden”. If it’s true, well, I don’t know how the Denver auditions (where she also judged) will turn out. If not, well, it will still be weird. This season of American Idol is weird already. And that, I guess, is my welcome. Hello, kids. Here we go again. Ready?

(Image courtesy of WENN)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV