The auditions got off to a somewhat lazy start in New Jersey. I’m anxious to see what New Orleans brings, and to see it in just an hour (2-hour “supersized” shows make me want to crawl under the couch and cry.) Was it just me or did the premiere seem to be more about the judges than anything? There didn’t seem to be any contestants who were head and shoulders above the rest, unless you give them further consideration like Henrik’s Honor Roll (Caleb Hawley is my current favorite!)

Some of you said you didn’t even notice the judges. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I think it’s nice when everyone gets along and we don’t have to deal with a squabble between Simon and Paula’s joke writer. But if we don’t have Simon, and Jennifer Lopez can barely get rid of people who suck at singing, who’s going to provide the contestants with brutal, biting honesty? Is Randy trying and we just haven’t noticed?
The first part of the show was dedicated to the new judges, and gave us lots of shots of them walking, thinking, singing, and auditioning for Black Swan.

steventylerblackswan.jpgSteven Tyler is our sweet girl.

Then the show just sort of breezed over two hours of auditions, focusing on how Jennifer Lopez couldn’t tell people “no,” and Steven Tyler was hitting on all the 16-year olds. And poor Randy tried to assert himself as the new authority. More on that in Friday’s “Randy Jackson Personality Watch.” Ryan promised us “the best contestants we’ve ever seen and the most fun we’ve ever had,” but I think he was just trying to convince himself. Maybe we’d start having fun if J. Lo quit mugging for the camera and Steven Tyler was replaced by Yoji Pop. Only one of those is a terrible idea.

So the first episode belonged to the judges, but here are the runners-up:

15 and 16-Year Olds
American Idol opened its doors to 15-year olds for the first time, so I guess 16-year olds feel that they are beyond qualified now. I didn’t catch her name for my recap last night but 15-year old Kenzie Palmer was definitely a standout when it came to the young voices of New Jersey.
Idolkenziepalmer.jpgEveryone else I didn’t see making it too far past the Hollywood round, although 16-year old Travis Orlando was the big buzz on Twitter. He was cute but I wanted him to be an even better singer than he was. I don’t know, 16-year olds just remind me of Katie Stevens and that whole journey we had to go on last year. I want something else this year!

Ashley Sullivan
I would just like to tell her story, using visual aids:

AIASbritney.jpgFast-talking Britney worship

Crying and begging to go to Hollywood after a manic, so-so performance

AIASfuguestate.jpgAwakening from a fugue state, having no recollection of her audition.

Idolashleysullivan.jpg“I’m going to Hollywood, I think!”

(images courtesy of FOX)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).