Steven Tyler was probably the most entertaining judge. I don't know that he actually added a lot to the judging process, but his strange noises and odd phrases were more interesting than anything else going on in last night's tenth season premiere. That was almost canceled out, though, by Tyler's creepy uncle routine, in full swing last night as he ogled girls that weren't even of legal age. Lowering the minimum age you can enter to 15 the same year Tyler was brought on board was not a good idea by any stretch of the imagination. It's disturbing.
Jennifer Lopez was the most disappointing. I mean, despite my criticisms, Tyler and Jackson were pretty much exactly as I expected them to be. I saw J-Lo as this year's wild card, figuring she would set the tone of the show from now on. She began by letting everyone through to Hollywood, with 51 'Golden Tickets' given away last night. Starting with the very first girl, who made my ears ache, J-Lo let mediocre and downright bad singers slide right through. You know I'm right. The other two certainly can't be expected to act as gatekeeper; it's her job. She got a little better as the night wore on, but a huge improvement is needed quickly if she's going to be any good. J-Lo: Please don't be another Ellen, whom I adore, but could not bring herself to criticize nice people!
There are plenty of arguments to be made that the show is not about the judges, and much as I might disagree, I'm happy enough to examine another angle. Last night's group did not show extraordinary talent, though plenty got through. Idol's new optimistic spirit surely contributed to that. There were a few I could see myself rooting for with some work, but fifteen hours after watching the episode, I can't recall a single name. Not a good starting sign, as I can't remember the last time that happened.