By GABI BOURN
The creators of the upcoming season of “American Idol” mixed new and old qualities in the show to keep fans interested.
The new judges, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, have provided much controversy over the past several months after their affiliation with the show began. Many fans have debated whether the change in judges was a wise choice or not, so the first episode has been highly anticipated.
The episode begins with each of the new judges sharing what they love about the show, why they decided to join the judging panel and what they are looking for in each contestant.
The season starts in a typical fashion with scenes of masses of people waiting in line to perform for the judges. When the contestants finally get to see the judges, they must stand out. Some are talented, but most are off pitch and not star material. This is no different from the past eleven seasons, but then the camera turns to the judges.
First, there is Carey who oozes a diva lifestyle and represents the R&B, soul and pop genres. Next to her is the low-key country singer, Urban, who mainly acts as a buffer between Carey and Minaj. With her bubblegum pink eye shadow and rainbow colored wig, Minaj is a big personality who demands attention not only from the viewers but also from her fellow judges. The one remaining original judge, Randy Jackson, continues his role relatively unchanged from the first season and focuses on finding the next great performer.
One standout performer is an immigrant from Cuba named Lazaro. He spoke of the challenges he faced during his life due in part to a speech impediment and how music is his source of relief. When he finally begins singing Simon and Garfunkel’s “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the judges were captivated by his fluid and beautiful voice.
While seeing contestants accomplish their dream is the true purpose of the show, witnessing the new relationships among the judges is guaranteed to provide great publicity for the show while possibly keeping the ratings high.
“American Idol” will have a 2-night premiere Jan. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. on FOX.