‘American Idol’ is, by all indications, trying to change its narrative this year. It (the year) might well be different, funnier, kinder, and more entertaining if Harry Connick Jr. gets his way at the judges table.
‘Idol’ viewership and rating plummeted last year and this may have prompted the changes witnessed in this year’s 13th season that kicked off on Wednesday night.
Harry Connick Jr. was the new judge, bringing his charm and honest critiques to the panel. He seemed to take the fact that many of the contestants hardly knew him in stride. “Can you Google him right now?” someone asked, and another one called him “Tony Connick”
When asked about what he did last night, he told judge Keith Urban that he went to the bar to drink “because nobody knew who I was.”
But one fan, MunFarid Zaidi, recognized him and even told him that he reads his Wikipedia page every day before going to bed. The guy got out of his seat and picked up the 19-year-old Zaidi and cradled him.
Connick was open about his approach and assessments of the auditions, “I don’t know what kind of judge I’m going to be other than to say I have to be honest.” He acknowledges that sending someone out of the room crying is one of the most terrible feelings, but he would do that if it is the right thing to say.
It remains to be seen whether this year will be an improvement, but why not? The judges don’t seem to hate each other, Randy Jackson is out of the picture, tickets are smaller, and now we have Harry Connick who has raised the stakes on his Première.
“American Idol'” continues next Wednesday and Thursday and viewers can catch the show on Fox at 8 p.m.
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