Thank God for Steven Tyler!

Okay, I have to admit I was very worried about my American Idol.  I mean, with the failed Ellen experiment over, no hope for Paula Abdul returning, and Simon Cowell heading out of town, or at least to another show, all that was left was top dog Randy Jackson from the old guard.  Would Simon’s snide remarks be missed?  How many times would Randy say “Dog?” No Paula Abdul nuttiness, or at least Ellen thinking she could be nutty?  Would I care?

Turns out I did care, as this was probably the first time in a few years I actually enjoyed the auditions, although it did get off to a rocky start.

Yup, there she was, some girl who auditioned a few years ago and somehow the “Does she ever stop smiling?” Jennifer Lopez remembered her.  The girl wasn’t that good, if Simon were there I’m thinking he would have blasted her, or at least given her the big “No,” but oddly enough the three judges let her through, with J-Lo and Randy basing their judginess on her previous audition and the fact she made it to Hollywood.  Steven Tyler thought she was a flower that would blossom, and then, as I began to see it, Steven Tyler is really the reason to watch American Idol right now.

Sure, Jennifer Lopez is working the “sweetness, oh I don’t want to say ‘No’ but I have to” act to the hilt, and many times Randy just seems to be sitting back, analyzing a contestant like they were a business proposal, but there is Steven, goofy face for goofy singer, getting into the groove with the good singers, slinging wacky anecdotes, and so far, at least for one show, just seeming to have a great time, and even when he tells someone to go back home because they aren’t very good, somehow it just sounds nice.

I do admit that part of me misses Simon Cowell because quite frankly, some of these people really need someone just to crush their hopes and dreams so they can get on with their lives rather than getting let go with some glimmer of hope that they could be that girl who makes it through again, but all in all, I’ve got to give a big hug to the new trio, because even when they say “No,” it’s like a big “We’re sorry but you suck,” group hug.

The producers weren’t too annoying with the “background” spots before a singer, they didn’t give some of the overly annoying people too much time, you can already see some standouts where, with a makeover, have a great shot at stardom (but sorry one dude, your nose is huge), and if the auditions continue like this first episode, American Idol will be back on my “Must see” TV viewing list.

And Steven Tyler, thank you – I hope your act doesn’t get old.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!