Idol Debut: Tyler's a Dog, J.Lo Is 'Vacuous'

But ultimately, the show isn't much different, critics say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2011 10:03 AM CST
Idol Debut: Tyler's a Dog, J.Lo Is 'Vacuous'
Steven Tyler, left, and Jennifer Lopez, new judges on "American Idol," take part in a panel discussion on the show in Pasadena, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

American Idol’s two new high-profile judges debuted last night, and critics, for the most part, yawned:

  • “Losing Simon Cowell from American Idol was like losing Alan Alda from MASH,” moans Ken Levine on the Huffington Post. In his place, we have Jennifer Lopez, “a vacuous former movie star/former recording star,” and Steven Tyler, “a walking cautionary tale to not do drugs/alcohol/glue/mushrooms/tobacco/cannabis/electric bananas/sleep deprivation for five weeks in a row.” Between them and original judge Randy Jackson, “there wasn't one insightful comment.”
  • The introduction of the new judges was “labored, long, and almost painfully lighthearted, like a divorced husband awkwardly presenting the new wife to his grown but unforgiving children,” writes Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times. And Tyler’s “bad boy reputation” was overplayed with a montage of him “leering and flirting … he looked too much like a long-haired version of Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.”

  • “After all the hype about the ‘new’ era of American Idol, the season premiere of Season 10 was pretty much just like the season premiere of Season 9,” notes Jennifer D’Angelo Friedman on PopNews Wire. Even though the show didn’t offer up anything new, the new judges “were a lot funnier than we thought they would be.” One particularly choice line from Tyler: “Well hellfire, save matches, f*** a duck, and see what happens.”
  • Mary McNamara is one of the few who’s unabashedly happy with the revamped show. “For the first time in a long time the fumblings and flailings of contestants fighting to find their feet on stage will not be mirrored by the judges table,” she writes in the Los Angeles Times. “Tyler and Lopez are performers, time- and road-tested, who have experienced failure as well as success, and even in the first two hours the difference in how they perceive performances made the show more interesting than it has been in a while.”
Click through to watch one of the crazier clips from last night’s show. (Read more American Idol stories.)

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