American Idol: going home is good

For the contestants who have made it this far on “American Idol,” going home has a different meaning than being eliminated. That’s because the top three finalists get to go home and enjoy a special day in which they perform in front of fans in their city, appear on radio and TV and usually have the mayor of said city give them a “key” to said city. Pretty heady stuff. But as always, it took the producers an hour to tell us the result that they could have delivered in a few seconds. And without DVR, it would have been excruciating.

To kick things off, Season 3 champ Fantasia performed her new single, “Bittersweet.” It was pretty good and she no doubt has a remarkable voice, but other than that, the performance was sort of bland.

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American Idol Season 8 Kicks Off in the Desert

It’s a cliche, but time really freaking flies. Not only is Season 8 of “American Idol” now in progress, but it really seems like yesterday that we were crowning David Cook Season 7 champ. Season 1 was in 2002, now SEVEN years ago. They did a little retrospective to kick off Season 8 last night, and at the end of the montage they showed a bunch of little David Archuleta fans screaming “NOOOOO” when Cook was crowned by Ryan Seacrest back in May. Funny, funny stuff. Reminded me of New York Jets’ fans at the NFL draft, but worse.

Anyway, a fourth judge has been added to shake things up. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi (pronounced Dee-o-GWAR-dee) who has written somewhere around 100 hit songs and from what we found out, has a decent voice too, gives the panel another female perspective and she definitely adds some spunk and even more humor to the already eccentric judging contingent.

The first month or so of every season begins with twice-a-week auditions from various cities, and last night was the round from Phoenix, Arizona, home of Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks. There is a pattern to this every season, and the producers of the show only show us the really great and really horrible auditions, accentuating the absurd. It’s a ratings party, and last night was no exception. To streamline, we’ll just highlight the good and bad as briefly as possible…..

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