Years have passed since I watched American Idol. After this season's first show, I tuned in.
After all, Steven Tyler was a judge.
In the past, I never liked the early shows that exemplified what happens in America to kids who are told they can do and be anything. C'mon, people, the skills aren't always there. Don't lie to your kids and encourage them to humiliate themselves on reality television. If someone can't carry a tune in a bucket, don't tell him he can.
Fortunately, this is not the case with the top 11 contestants who will all be on tour this summer. They are talents. Each one of them is different. Each one brings something special to the stage.
During last week's elimination round, the judges showed just how different this season is.
Casey, Casey, Casey.
I agree with the judges that you should not have been out last week. (I don't even think the bottom three was accurate.) You were saved by judges for another performance, but I'm really concerned about your health. Please take care of yourself. Your style is unique and it's fun to watch a performer who feels the music from the top of his furry head to the tips of his toes.
In the spirit of this year's kinder, gentler American Idol, I'd like to address the remaining contestants.
I'm certain they are far too busy to read my blog, but in case they wander across it or can somehow feel the vibe across the cosmos, these are my wishes for them.
Lauren Alaina: You are precious. They've totally glammed you up the last couple of weeks. I hope you're enjoying it like every girl your age deserves to enjoy prom and other dress-up opportunities. Have fun, but please stay true to yourself. Don't let anyone steal your inner sparkle.
Paul McDonald: Your voice is instantly recognizable. Your quirkiness is endearing. I know I'd download a few of your songs. Please don't turn out to be creepy or anything.
Pia Toscano: You are Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. You are the stuff movie songs are made of.
James Durbin: I love your devotion to your "angel" wife and child. I also love how you rock the stage. Not only would I download your songs, but I would go to your concerts. Rock on, Durbin!
Jacob Lusk: Your talent, like Pia's, is legendary.
Haley Reinhart: That husky voice is unforgettable. I wish you luck because I'd love to have a few of your songs on my playlist.
Thia Megia: You have the talent, and when you have the life experience you will be a superstar. In the meantime, I expect "them" to make you a Disney princess. Please don't go the way of the other Disney musicians. Stay that sweet girl who wears the cutesy sweaters--at least on the inside.
Stefano Langone: Mmm-mmm. I love your sexy voice. In order to remain on the show, listen to the judges and open your d#$%ed eyes. Got it? Connect with the audience. Those girl want to pretend you're singing to them. Don't hide from them, baby.
Scotty McCreery: Many people love your deep voice--which is remarkable--but I also love that you showed what it's like to be a man, even though you're seventeen. When you apologized to that boy during Hollywood Week and said you should have stood up for him, I knew you were a country singer. We like our country singers to be as pure of heart as the lyrics they sing. Please don't lose that.
Naima Adedapo: From the first show, I loved your heart. I was so proud of you last week when you didn't miss a note and gave a concert-style performance that showed who you really are and hinted at what amazing potential you have. You are a performer. I hope to see your show one day.
What do you think of the contestants this year?