If you're feeling skeptical about the revamped, Simon Cowell-less version of Fox's American Idol (premiering tonight at 8 p.m. ET), the clip below of the new judges working together should put your mind at ease. It's a hilarious excerpt of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson interacting just as you'd expect them to.
In other words, Tyler is a goofy loose cannon, who spouts comments that are both profanity-laced and weird. "Well hellfire, save matches." he tells a contestant. "Fuck a d--- and see what hatches." What does this mean?
Lopez hasn't a clue. Her lovely face contorts with confusion, then semi-comprehension, and finally, a big, beaming smile that says, "What can you do? It's Steven Tyler."
Then you have Jackson, the Idol veteran, who's expected to maintain the show's established standard of decorum, at least a little. "What are we doing here?" he cries out in exasperation. "No man, we're not allowed to say that!" In this moment, he seems to be realizing the season-long role he's doomed to play: Tyler-wrangler. This is a funny dynamic. Let's hope they keep it up.
Yes, Tyler's live wire act -- and his co-judges' reactions to it -- will no doubt infuse American Idol with a new, very different, and much-needed vibe. As every critic, producer and person associated with this show has pointed out, you can't replace Cowell. You have to go in another direction. And this trio definitely fits that bill.
Tyler isn't Cowell, but he's his own, wonderful, baffling entity. There's only one Cowell, sure. But there's also only one Steven Tyler. AI has swapped out one rare bird for another. He's nothing like Cowell, but he's equally engrossing to watch.
And he's the perfect foil for Jackson, whose position as the last remaining original judge is both a blessing and a curse. He's now the judge with the most experience, and therefore, has the most seniority. "Randy isn't the Randy you remember," AI producer Nigel Lythgoe said on The View. "Randy's running it."
But that also means we'll be seeing more of his struggles to contain the craziness. And that, at least, promises to be very entertaining.
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