TV Review: Fox's 'American Idol'

The tenth season of Fox’s American Idol premiered Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C:

“The season premiere was basically a lavish infomercial for the new judges. The audition episodes are usually a freak show of tone-deaf hopefuls, but Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are really the ones auditioning here, while Randy Jackson is already pissed off that nobody notices him still hanging around.” – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

“The introduction of the new stars, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, was labored, long and almost painfully lighthearted, like a divorced husband awkwardly presenting the new wife to his grown but unforgiving children.” – Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

“Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is the best thing that’s happened to Idol in years — a much needed breath of let’s-not-take-ourselves-too-seriously — while new judge Jennifer Lopez struggled to make every moment all about her.” – Lisa de Moraes, The Washington Post

American Idol wanted to convince us that everything was new and fresh for its tenth season premiere Wednesday night, but, truth be told, it felt like the early episodes of the ninth season and the eighth and the fifth: some heartwarming stories backed by varying degrees of talent, some obvious scammers happy to be atrocious enough to land on TV, and some judges struggling to strike a balance between ‘likable to the audience’ and ‘truthful to the hopefuls.’” – Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune

“No, there won’t be too many artificial put-downs, jarring reality checks or plain old mean-spirited commentary — or any at all. We’re entering a new era of Idol, transitioning from ‘sleepy’ in season 9 to syrupy in season 10. Have a Coke and a smile and sing your heart out!” – Shirley Halperin, The Hollywood Reporter