Monday, January 11, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

We'll get back to the Oscar pandemonium momentarily. For a moment, I want to vent on some breaking news today that, to me, is far better news than anyone understands.

Before that, though, just a reminder of some big events happening over the next few weeks. First, the premiere of American Idol (ironically, the subject of this post) is tomorrow at 7, then Wednesday at the same time. I probably won't be blogging much on Idol this season; last season's hack job made me realize the talent competition is a guilty pleasure best indulged without thinking too hard.

Thursday brings the premiere of Project Runway back to New York City (thank God) and my blogging back, but don't expect the updates to be very timely this time around, what with Oscar season and all other goings-on. Suffice it to say that this season seems MUCH better than the last at first glance.

Friday is the first big awards show of the season: the Critics' Choice Awards. They're usually the ones to reward real crowd favorites, so if Avatar is gonna keep up its momentum, look for a win here.

Sunday brings the Golden Globes at 7, with red carpet coverage on E! and the TV Guide Channel at 5-ish-or-so (come for the strange interviews by Ryan Seacrest, stay for the weird, Isaac-Mizrahi-just-grabbed-Scarlett-Johannsen's-melons moments). These are the closest things to precursors for the Oscars, plus television categories, plus booze. (The now-infamous Isaiah Washington incident? The Golden Globes.)

After that comes the Screen Actors Guild Awards on the 23rd. ("I'm Will Arnett, and I'm an alco-er, ACTOR.") Not everyone's cup of tea, the SAGs are usually very self-congratulatory, but Sandra Bullock's presenting a Career Achievement Award to Betty White. You can't beat that.

The 25th marks the premiere of Damages, by far the most entertaining show on television (save Glee, of course). I'm going to take a moment to pretend you care and will watch on the 25th on FX at 9. Thank you.

The 2nd of February is the big one: the Oscar nominations! It's like Christmas morning for someone like me!

Everyone got all those dates? Good, because now I'm gonna rant.

Let me be clear: Simon Cowell leaving American Idol is the single best thing to happen to that show in years. Last season's errors in judgment and overall irritation factor can be almost wholly attributed to Cowell. He's grown bored with this show, ignoring one of Allison Iraheta's performances last season to draw on former judge Paula Abdul's face. Attentive, huh?

Is him leaving going to alter the face of America's biggest reality show permanently? Absolutely. But there's no reason it can't be for the better. My suggestion for his replacement? Get ready: Ben Folds.

Hear me out. The hipster/indie artist judged this season's The Sing-Off on NBC, which was, like most things on NBC these days (hi, Conan! How's being edged out by Jay Leno AGAIN treating you?), a travesty. However, Folds was intelligent, kind, on-point, and almost the perfect reality show judge. He'd be the perfect choice to fill Cowell's shoes.

This doesn't have to be a singularly beneficial relationship, either. With Folds in the fold (sorry), Idol could spotlight more indie-focused artists, as well as featuring music from out-of-the-norm artists. Plus, Folds would gain an entirely new fanbase. (Which, by the way, would likely draw his current supporters nuts, making me giggle in the process.)

What do you guys think? Bad move? Or an interesting way to turn the biggest show in America on its head? Take it to the comments, folks!

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