‘Idol’ starts season five

“American Idol” judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson may not have heard many great voices in the first two episodes of their successful show, but the results of the ratings must have been music to their ears, as Tuesday’s season premiere trumped this weeks prime-time competition.

Nielsen Media Research’s preliminary figures recorded that the show was watched by 35.5 million people, its best season opener yet and a 6 percent increase over last year’s season debut.

Tuesday’s show took the judges to Chicago where they were treated to, let’s just say, a variety of contestants. The show delivered the bad, the worse and the “what were you thinking?” “Every time you see (the show), just when you think nobody crazier or better or worse can walk through the door, there is someone who’s crazier or better or worse,” Ken Warwick, one of the show’s executive producers told The Associated Press. “That keeps it interesting.” Could he be talking about Nick from New York? Really. Because walking into the audition dressed as the Statue of Liberty was a great idea. At least he took the insanely quick rejection well. C’mon Nick. Have you not seen the show? Talk about rejection. Some don’t take it very well, and are very quick to express their feelings.

Yes, I’m talking about you Ms. Potty-mouth. You sure you weren’t supposed to be on Jerry Springer? The Ukraine performer? Sorry.

Try it overseas. They may like the act in Europe.

The two sisters were charming.

But I predict the taller, younger sister will go further.

The second day took the judges to Denver, where the sunny day brought out another batch of the same-old same-old.

It’s fun to watch, not only because of the horrible performances, but because of the responses the judges have to the contestants. Not just Cowell’s, but Abdul and Jackson seem to be funnier and funnier with each season.

“He’s like a wasp. A bright orange buzzy thing,” Cowell described one contestant. An odd comparison, but you never know what they’re going to say.

When a sweet 17-year-old Frank Sinatra impersonator got a golden ticket to compete in the competition in Hollywood, Abdul said to him that he better bring his game and that if he makes it, he’ll be the hero of the competition. As he walks out of the room, she adds: “Because he’s going to cut you in Hollywood anyway.” Gee, how nice of her.

Amid the controversies that pop up with the show, the ratings and record sales seem to be unaffected.

Last year, Abdul got caught up in a scandal when allegations she was involved with former contestant Corey Clark surfaced. After investigations by network executives, Fox decided to side with Abdul and the show went on. It was the top-rated show of last year.

Original “Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson refused to allow current contestants of this season to sing songs for her sophomore album “Breakaway,” causing a rift between her, Cowell and Fox executives who happen to also manage her career. The album remains a stronghold on the Billboard Hot 200, spending 59 weeks in the top twenty, peaking at No. 3.

Next week’s “Idol” takes them to Greensboro on Tuesday, and then San Francisco on Wednesday.

Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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