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10 Reasons to be a Renewed Fan of American Idol

I haven’t watched an entire season of American Idol since season 2.  I checked in here and there throughout the next couple years and then didn’t watch at all until this year. Like most new or renewed viewers, I first tuned in for the new judges, but I quickly found myself hooked for much more.

1. The Judges

American Idol Season 10 Judges

Steven Tyler on American Idol?  It just didn’t seem like it was going to work.  But it not only works, it works better than it ever has before.  He knows how to be honest without being mean-spirited and comes up with the most entertaining ways to say a performance is great.  I expected to be annoyed by Jennifer Lopez, but she also was a pleasant surprise as a sometimes overly sympathetic judge, but ultimately right on point.  Then there’s Randy Jackson who seems to be trying to take on Simon’s bad cop role.  He rarely has much of significance to contribute, but two out of three isn’t bad.

2. Tugging at the Heartstrings

 

Chris Medina and Juliana Ramos

The initial episodes of season 10 auditions went a completely different route than those of past seasons.  Instead of focusing on the craziest and most ridiculous auditions (although they included a good dose of those as well), they gave us poignant back stories of very talented singers with troubled and even tragic pasts, the one gaining the most attention being Chris Medina’s heartbreaking story of his fiance’s encounter with a cruel twist of fate leaving her brain-damaged two weeks before they were to be wed and his subsequent role as caregiver instead of husband.  He was an early favorite but was ultimately cut before the top 24.  Yes, I admit it.  I found tears in my eyes during more than one episode this season.

3. Beatles Week

Kendra Chantelle and Paul McDonald Perform the Beatles' "Blackbird"

There were quite a few hack jobs to the Beatles’ wide selection of songs, but performance like that of Kendra Chantelle and Paul McDonald’s duet of Blackbird more than made up for some of the train wrecks that came across the stage that is home to the Beatles’ Love by Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas.

4. Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald

Steven Tyler put it perfectly after his performance of Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues”, Paul McDonald is “a cool dude in a loose mood”.  His crooked smile and crazy disjointed dancing around stage paired with his distinct raspy voice and astoundingly white teeth make him so much fun to watch.  He has a unique new sound and I for one  hope to see him go a long way.

5. Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery

If it were American Country Idol, Scotty McCreery would have it all locked up.  His deep country crooner voice can compete with the likes of today’s country icons.  Unfortunately for him, I don’t think a guy with such a strong country niche can win this show.  But he has enough fans to take him through a few more weeks.  And I’ll look forward to his performances as long as he’s around.

6. Stefano Langone

Stefano Langone

The judges rescued Stefano and brought him into the final 13 as a wildcard.  How could they not with his astounding vocal range?  His song selections and performances will need to be perfect from here on out to gain the voting public’s favor.  He definitely has the talent, he just lacks some of that mysteriously elusive star quality.

7. James Durbin

James Durbin

Another risk taker with song selections from Judas Priest and Bon Jovi, James Durbin brings excitement to every one of his performances.  Though at times he seems to be pushing a little too hard for it, I still find him enjoyable to watch.  I don’t think he can win, but I think he will only get better with each week he makes it through.

8. Casey Abrams

Casey Abrams

I love the bravery that doesn’t always necessarily work out perfectly, like the attempt at Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, but the talent and courage make even his mediocre performances entertaining.  With the right songs, I think he has what it takes to make it all the way.

9. Haley Reinhart

Haley Reinhart

WIth the exception of Haley Reinhart, I have to sum up season 10’s top girls in one word: boring.  Even Pia Toscano, with her strong and beautiful voice just can’t find a way to entertain.  And as much as I enjoy the quirky voice of Haley Reinhart and rank her number 1 among the girls, I don’t think she is popular enough to make it very far. The lack of anything truly striking about any of these girls is what leads me to the last item on this list.

10. An All Male Top 5

Original Top 12 Guys

I’m going to make the top 5 prediction pretty early but I’m going with: Casey Abrams, James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, Paul McDonald, Jacob Lusk.  So far the girls are consistently in the bottom 3.  I think the first all male top 5 is on the horizon.

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