Jon Peter Lewis

What’s it like to be a part of American Idol’s studio audience as an alumnus? contributor and former contestant Jon Peter Lewis, who returned to Stage 36 for last night’s elimination show, reflects on how the show’s changed since he rocked Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” on season three, and ponders where it’s headed.

Did you see me Wednesday night? There I was, seated next to Chicken Little (a.k.a. Kevin Covais) catching up on the good old days… kind of. He’s not really the talkative kind. But what he did have to say captured my attention completely. Somewhere in the ordinary getting-to-know-you chit-chat, Kevin mentioned that he’s working on a movie at MGM studios. I think that’s cool and he seemed really excited about it. I mean, he said MGM, like, 12 times in one minute. I think he’s got a really good look for film. He could totally play the beta male roles. The story only got better and more disturbing from there, though. He started talking about how he recently moved in with Ace Young and then mentioned something about picking up Ace’s womanizing leftovers? Yikes! Now that’s a movie script waiting to be written.

All in all, it was fun to be back on the American Idol setand see a lot of familiar faces. I think I talked with Simon more lastnight than my entire time on the show. He said I looked healthy and Isuppose that’s high praise coming from someone who’s sparing on hiscomplements. I spoke with Randy and Paula too and, you know, the wholething reminded me of a class reunion, except without the graduatingclass and a lot of more expensive upgrades to the school. It’s amazinghow little they got away with spending on my season. I mean, our stagewas half the size and we didn’t get a band. Don’t think I’mcomplaining, though. Not really. I’m only having slight pangs ofjealousy.

Speaking of which, the Neil is gonna be on the show, and that’spretty awesome, but I’m still not sure about how I feel about all theperipheral stuff they cram into an episode these days. I mean, it’sstarting to become a variety show and that’s much less endearing thanwatching a Cinderella story. It’s really easy to get lost in it all.There’s the mentors, and they have to promote their new projects, thesponsors who have to have their Ford commercials and iPhone plugs,let’s not forget about Kellie Pickler, who’s pimping out her not-so-newrecord, and, of course, Idol Gives Back, which I can’t decide if I love or hate since Idolseems to get a lot more back than it gives. Is it getting to the pointwhere it’s just one big commercial? Or has it always been that way?What do you all think?