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The Idol (judge) has fallen August 6, 2009

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

I can’t honestly be the only one who saw this coming. When the news broke around this time last year that American Idol would be adding a fourth judge to “bring a new level of energy and excitement to the show,” I knew it would be the beginning of the long goodbye for Paula Abdul.

They all looked so happy here.

The judges: They all looked so happy here.

I admit to having been a huge fan of the show through most of its first seven seasons. I enjoy fresh musical talent, and it was fun coming to work the next morning to debrief each new episode with coworkers. I still like to follow the careers of some former contestants. Elliott Yamin remains my favorite. If you’re so inclined, do yourself a huge favor and pick up or download his latest CD, Fight for Love. It’s fantastic!

But something just didn’t click for me this past season. Yes, there was some great talent. But so many from this cast already seemed too polished, even as they made their way through the early rounds. In my opinion, part of the show’s early appeal was the opportunity to witness “undiscovered” raw vocal talent manifest into powerful showmanship over the course of the competition. As they say, everyone loves an underdog. I had trouble finding mine this year.

And then there were the judges. The show seemed less about the drama of launching a new music star and more about the melodrama surrounding the future of has-beens. Sure Paula was a train wreck, but she was part of the program’s tapestry that made it irresistible at times. “How would Paula implode this week?” You had to watch to talk knowledgably about it the morning after. And no offense to Kara DioGuardi—or as Joel McHale from The Soup calls her, Kara Di-LaGuardia Airport—her presence interfered with the dysfunctional chemistry that often made the show fun.

But clearly the American Idol producers had their fill of the dysfunction, and I knew it as soon as they introduced a new judge. Admittedly, some of the antics from recent seasons were beyond ridiculous. And let’s face it, Kara was getting a one-season tryout and short of a complete meltdown, she was destined to replace the departing Miss Paula.

Didn’t anyone else see this coming?



1. Margie Sivret Misiti - August 6, 2009

Hey Paul ~ have missed your wit, glad to see you here. I have to agree with you, it’s been long in coming. Although I hate to see her go, I must admit that when the show was TiVo’d I often found myself FF thru her often uncomfortable opinion. That being said I will miss her thru the audition process this is when she was the most fun! No matter what I will still watch.

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