Well, we've all seen it by now. Yes, folks, the 10th season of "American Idol" is officially underway and its new hosts have been sufficiently introduced to the country.
What say you?
I'm going to lay it on the line: I love Steven Tyler and J-Lo - and Randy is my main dawg, as always.
That's right; I'm down with the rock star, the pop star and the mad bassist extraordinaire.
Preliminary ratings seem to support my sentiments and why not?
Steven Tyler is a living rock legend. Sure, he's not the fork-tongued Brit spewing hateful critiques to Cowell-ing, er, cowering contestants. And truth be told, I DO like Simon. He was dead-on about 96 percent of the time he was judging on "Idol" but then again, that IS how he became a gazillionaire - having a penchant for identifying musical talent.
But, dude, Steven Tyler? He's got that crazy, inhuman vocal range and whacked-out grunge Technicolor hair. I know I'm partial to him as a child of the '80s, but honestly, he's the glue that holds Aerosmith together. And, truth be told, it is his incredible voice against which many "Idol" heavyweights have been judged in the past. Lest we forget that "Dream On" is unofficially the "Idol" killer? The final notes on that song truly separate the men from the boys, but I digress.
Randy Jackson is a rock, y'all. The only original judge, Randy is all-at-once beloved and feared by contestants and audience members alike; people actually say "Thank you" after he tells them, literally, "Dude, that was awful." His likability in the face of his tough analyses is quite a tall feat for a guy whose only global familiarity is as a transient member of the supergroup Journey. He is to "Idol" what Tyler is to Aerosmith, period.
That brings us to Jennifer Lopez.
Now, listen, I'm not objective because I love "Jenny from the Block." I was rooting for her back in the Ben Affleck days and no one was more pleased than I when she finally found happiness with fellow musician Marc Anthony and their twins. For all her reported diva-dom and acting, singing and clothing / fragrance success, Jennifer Lopez truly seems grounded. The way that she's torn up by having to tell someone they can't sing or touched by the story of a single mom's struggle to make a good life for her special needs child endears her to me beyond words.
So, what do folks around these parts think of the new "American Idol" trifecta?
While I was shopping with my boys at Gander Mountain in Niles the other night, I asked around a bit. Here's some of what I heard.
"Steven Tyler is absolutely gorgeous! He's just as hot as he was in the '80s, I love him!" said Linda Ellison of Howland.
Hmm. Well, it does creep me out a little when he eyes up those starlets who could technically be his granddaughters but I will give him this: he certainly has earned the right to offer his expertise on singers and he does so with finesse, aplomb and downright merriment. The dude is cool.
John Shockton of Warren isn't quite so enamored.
"Tyler is a washed up hack. He looks like the crypt keeper. As for Jennifer Lopez, she's a coherent Paula Abdul, too sugary sweet for me, I'm not buying it." Ouch. Are you sure you aren't related to Simon?
My sister-in-law Kim may have said it best.
"I love the new panel! They're fun and they're knowledgeable and they make me laugh," she said.
And, in light of the economic and political turmoil, tragic and senseless violence, and endless corporate corruption and greed splashing American headlines daily, I think a little laughter may be just what we need.
Happy Idoling, all!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.