American Idol 2 – Finally, Let The Games Begin!

We’ve waded through hours and hours of bad auditions. Now it’s finally time to get to the good stuff – the top 32, the voting, trying to find the next Kelly Clarkson! Will it be Julia? Kimberly? J.D.?

After five and half hours, we are finally about to get down to business on American Idol. For the past two weeks, the freaks and geeks have carried the AI torch along. Last Wednesday night the flame was finally lit and finally we can move on to the real show.

The creators decided to super-size our order this time and deliver about four and half hours of the worst singers in America, with just a taste of some of the good singers to come in the competition.

The judges have remarked in almost every interview that the talent is better this year, I can only imagine they meant bad talent. As fun as they are to watch, I think they went overboard – two hours would have sufficed. They could have used the other two and half hours as filler during the live shows. They probably will anyway, so we’ll likely see this stuff again and again before the finale of the second season. Remember Tamika? Imagine if that guy doing the Madonna song comes back again.

With only snippets of some of the 32 who will be performing over the next four weeks in live competition, it’s really impossible to tell at this point who really has the talent. I haven’t spotted a new Kelly Clarkson in the bunch, but then again if it were this time last season I wouldn’t have seen “The Kelly Clarkson” at this point either. Perhaps it is just that you never forget your first Idol, but from the little I’ve seen, it feels like this group of contestants is going to have a tough time surpassing the appeal of a Kelly Clarkson. The magic of Kelly Clarkson was first that no one was expecting that voice to come out of that little person, and second that she maintained a level of modesty throughout the competition that just left you rooting of her. She’s a tough act to follow.

The front-runners in the first group of eight look to be Kimberly Caldwell from Texas, Julia Demato from Connecticut, and J.D. Adams from California. We’ve heard all three of them sing at some point over the past two weeks and Caldwell and Demato both sound like they have strong voices.

For some reason the show producers chose to show us an edited version of a dispute that these two girls had. There was no reason to show this other then putting judgments into people’s heads beforehand. I really wish they would leave this stuff out. It’s a talent competition and it should at least start out without bias. Caldwell comes off as not a very nice person and Demato looks like a chump, sitting in a lobby waiting for hours to practice with Caldwell and the rest of her group, who it appears just blew her off. I’m sure there’s more to the story from both sides.

Given the little they showed of him, Adams doesn’t seem to have that strong a voice, but it didn’t sound bad either and with those looks, he has an edge. Even though the other five performers weren’t highlighted, they shouldn’t be discounted. Remember Kelly. I’m looking forward to seeing if someone jumps out like she did for me, then I’ll have someone to root for. So I say, “Let The Games Begin!”