Thursday, January 20, 2011

'American Idol 10' - Second impressions of the new season

Brett Loewenstern singing "Bohemian Rhapsody"
After Wednesday's 'American Idol' season premiere, I was almost giddy with anticipation over the follow-up on Thursday. I hadn't expected to care much one way or the other, but I was so entertained by Steven Tyler, I was beginning to think this season may not be a total wash after all.

Thursday's episode wasn't quite as compelling, and yet, there were elements that really pleased me and left me understanding why it is I watch this show to begin with - elements that have been missing for the past several season.

What I liked about Thursday's show, which featured the New Orleans auditions, was that, for the most part, the focus was on talent. We didn't have to suffer through endless shrieking and wailing - nope, the bad auditions were blocked together and fast-forwarded just for a bit of flavor. Instead, we got to see some solid auditions from people who may really have a shot.

It's been a long time since I've watched 'Idol' "alone" - that is, without being online with any chat group or forum. When I first started watching 'Idol' in Season 1, there weren't any fan sites or 'Idol' blogs. I don't think there was even a message board until Season 2. We watched the show, picked out our favorites and then watched to see how they did in Hollywood.

This week, I stepped away from the computer and watched both episodes from start to finish. I'm glad I did. The show felt "new" to me and I once again began relating to some of the contestants and feeling them.

Thursday, we were introduced to Brett Loewenstern, 16, of Boca Raton, Fla. Brett is different, and while he now embraces his differences, he had a hard time getting to this place. Brett auditioned with "Bohemian Rhapsody," and as trite as this phrase has become, he made it his own. Brett has confidence in his vocals and a rich tone that belies his slender frame and rather insecure carriage. I would not be at all surprised to see him in the Top 12.

Other auditions of note included Paris Tassin (single mother of special needs child), Jaycee Badeaux (15, looks 12), Jovany Barreto (shipbuilder and major hottie), and Jordan Dorsey (musician and music teacher who auditioned with "Over the Rainbow").

I've been told on good authority that this season's Top 40 may be the best ever. That's enough reason to keep me watching!

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