''American Idol''

The Singing Defective

Is the talent worse than last year? As Simon divides the contestants into the hotties and the singers, Jessica Shaw wonders where are this season's Kelly and Tamyra

Simon Cowell | COWELL IN ANTICIPATION Without fellow sidekick Abdul by his side there was no telling who Simon would unleash his fury on
Image credit: Simon Cowell: A. Rapoport
COWELL IN ANTICIPATION Without fellow sidekick Abdul by his side there was no telling who Simon would unleash his fury on

Is the talent worse than last year?

I never thought I'd say it but I actually missed Paula during the first half of Tuesday's episode. She's irritating when she's around, but you sort of long for her sartorial mishaps and cutesy reaction shots when she's off ''on a prior engagement.'' By the way, what exactly IS a prior engagement? Girlfriend, didn't you sign a contract to show up to work?

While plenty appears better this season than last (the graphics, the sets, the absence of the Dunk), are the singers 10 million times worse or is it me? People are getting to go to Hollywood who should not even go near a karaoke machine. Where are the Tamyras and Justins? At least that hottie Alden in the grey camo t-shirt and the Guarini-coiffed Corey Clark will be back Wednesday night. Other than them, though, I can't get too worked up about that 16-year old bottle blonde or that guy who claimed he was only 23 even though he looked 45.

And what was up with Simon basically saying the contestants are falling into two categories -- the hotties and the talent? The 23-year-old Nashville law student didn't seem to mind when he said it, but clearly she was in post-performance glow. He may as well have said, ''Your voice is great, but your booty is the size of Tennessee.'' Still, the guy might be right. All the belly-baring, mini-skirt clad singers were borderline on-key at best while some of the power singers wouldn't exactly make it to the first round of ABC's ''Are You Hot?''

Hopefully, Simon, Randy, and Paula will be able to find a decent 32 out of the gang. Personally, I'm looking forward to the Doublemint twins having a Sophie's Choice meltdown when only one gets to continue. If nothing else, I'd like to hear Randy continue his verbal tick of the season by calling everyone ''Dawg.'' Hey, it''s better than ''Dawg, Dawg, Dawg.''

What do you think of the season so far?

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Originally posted Jan 29, 2003
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