Last night this brand new 'Idol' started to resemble its old self.
That isn't to say the show was completely without change. Of course the producers can't help but throw a few new little oddities into the mix just to show they're trying.
The first change was just a complete waste of time. Before the Hollywood Week festivities could really begin, the judges forced the contestants to sing in a giant airplane hangar while they decided if a few were worthy or if they just made a mistake.
This was ridiculous for a couple of reasons. First, the idea that the judges actually remember a single contestant's audition is outrageous: I'm sure they forget all of them immediately after they exit the room. Secondly, it really added no drama whatsoever. Hollywood Week is tense enough as the contestants step out of a line and sing for an instant decision. Adding a preliminary round of that made very little sense for anything other than filling some time at the beginning of the program.
Though it did provide the opportunity to watch the contestants ride on busses to see if they were going to Hollywood or LAX. Really, these are the two worst places you could possibly take a bus: You're either ending up seated with bloated grumpy travelers or people about to go urinate on the Walk of Fame. The idea that anybody would willingly get on a bus that could result in either is troubling at best.
Of course, the bus taking the kids to LAX was the cruelest of all as the 20 or so non-descript contestants that nobody recognized or remembered had to hop on a plane back to reality. So long, you non-memorable kiddos, we hardly knew ye. Really.
The second change has been a lame development over the last few years: the continuing destruction of Hollywood Week. Not the singing, not the group performances, none of that. The real Hollywood Week - the behind-the-scenes craziness of watching a bunch of wannabe singers attempt to collaborate.
Last night, the judges reduced this further to about 20 minutes at the end of the show. Such a small fraction of the episode despite this clearly being the best part of the show all year outside of the competition.
Why would anybody ever want to get rid of a segment of the show that features such amazing highlights as a girl with a weird Bieber/Macklemore/Mohawk hairdo handing her group mates several pages of handwritten notes saying she doesn't feel well enough to sing or even talk, apparently?
That's not it. The shred of Hollywood Week also featured some pink-haired terror named Jessica who formed a group with a couple of boys that went so poorly (despite no real fighting or anything like that) that one of the kids completely quit the show. Not just the group, but the entire show! Leaving the other two to dissolve the group. This found Jessica going to another group and fighting with its stage mom.