Sometimes; way wrong
Let me start off by admitting right up front that I’m a big-time American Idol fan. Yep, I’ve watched all nine seasons. With the exception of Ruben Studdard, Fastasia, and Taylor Hicks winning, I’ve been entertained by most of “what’s been goin’ down,” as Randy likes to say.
That brings us to Season 10. I couldn’t imagine Idol without Simon Cowell. After all, Simon WAS Idol. When it was finally announced that he was leaving the show, I hardly had the desire to go on living. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I was disappointed. I always felt like Simon and I were kindred souls in a way. Simon can be a curmudgeonly bastard, but underneath that steely veneer is a sensitive fellow with a heart as big as J Lo’s butt. He can be the most generous guy on the planet, but most of the time, it’s all about Simon.
Anyway, as rumors ran rampant throughout the off-season and the names of various replacements were bandied about, I didn’t like any of them. When I ultimately learned that Steven Tyler was officially signed to replace Simon, I couldn’t believe it. Hell, at the time, I would’ve even preferred Elton John.
The DEMON OF SCREAMIN’? ARE YOU SERIOUS? (In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not much of an Aerosmith fan.) There was no way this “womanizing substance-abusing wild man” was gonna fill Simon’s shoes.
I WAS WRONG. Not only was I wrong, I was wrong BIG TIME. Tyler brings much-needed freshness to Idol. His craziness and self-deprecating humor make the show fun again. There’s a new chemistry between the judges, mostly due to Tyler’s easy-going manner.
Last Thursday, the final contestant was 26-year old Chris Medina. He stood before the judges and nailed a soulful rendition of The Script’s “Breakeven.” In 2009, two months before he was to be married, Medina’s fiance, Juliana Ramos was in a devastating car accident that left her in a wheelchair with serious brain damage.
At the judges’ request, Medina wheeled Juliana into the room following his audition. Steven, J Lo and Randy got up from behind the table and walked over to greet her. (The judges later said they had no idea as to the extent of her injuries.)
The Demon of Screamin’ was teary-eyed as he gently hugged and kissed Ramos on the forehead. “I just heard your fiance sing, and he sings so good,” Steven said softly as he knelt beside her wheelchair. “You know, ’cause he sings to you all the time.”
I’m still not much of an Aerosmith fan, but I’ve sure changed my mind about Steven Tyler.