''American Idol'' is back! What do you think of the show's chances of finding a true star the fourth time around? Weigh in!

By Michael Slezak
Updated July 03, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
Paula Abdul, Mark McGrath, ...

”American Idol” is back! Weigh in!

Some people think of American Idol as a reality show; others call it a pure talent competition.

Funny, we’ve always thought of Idol as an outrageous comedy that, after its first few weeks, abruptly morphs into the most gripping of dramas. The early audition rounds bring out some of the nation’s most misguided fame seekers, caterwauling their little hearts out — and then inexplicably kvetching when their tickets to the semifinals go unstamped. Later, the finals move us to cringe (poor EJay Day!), cry (Fantasia singing “Summertime,” anyone?), and curse at the television (Jennifer Hudson, you wuz robbed!).

Tuesday’s two-hour season premiere (the first of 10 audition episodes) provided the classic Idol mix: fresh voices (like handsome break dancer Travis Tucker) getting unearthed, fetid ones (like misguided Aven Moore, who mangled ”Tomorrow”) getting buried beneath harsh judgment from judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and . . . well, Paula Abdul usually says something awful supportive. Wednesday’s night’s follow-up should provide more of the same — if you can stomach the naked cruelty inflicted by both the judges and the show’s editors on some of these delusional souls.

A few burning questions arose during the season premiere, though: Did celebrity judge Mark McGrath add anything to the audition proceedings, and does his performance bode well for future cattle-call appearances by LL Cool J, Kiss’ Gene Simmons, Kenny Loggins, and Brandy? (Hey, if you didn’t enjoy the Sugar Ray singer, at least the producers are promising fewer guest judges during the finals.) And why the heck did soulful teen boxer Franchon Crews get the boot while abysmal Ryan Seacrest keeps picking up paychecks? Lastly, did anyone show potential to be this season’s William Hung?

Post your opinions here. And check back Thursday morning to read’s TV Watch, which will give you our take on the whole week in Idol. Then tell us whether our opinion is off key or pitch perfect.

Episode Recaps


American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

  • TV Show
  • 16
  • 574
  • ABC