Thursday, 20 January 2011

'American Idol' Still Number 1 Despite Lower Ratings for Steven Tyler, J.Lo

Whether it's Simon Cowell's departure from the show or if people are growing tired of American Idol, the ratings for the reality competition's first episode were down to its lowest levels since its 2001 premiere. Despite the weaker showing, Idol still handily won the Wednesday night ratings race with an estimated 26.1 million viewers tuning in to see Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez fill out the judges table.
Wednesday's premiere found Tyler, Lopez and Randy Jackson in New Jersey, where many Jersey Shore references were made and a few real talents and personalities emerged from the throng of hopeful performers. It's clear Tyler and Lopez are still finding their voices as judges (that voice disappeared completely whenever it was time for Lopez to say "no" on Wednesday), but at least audiences got a feel for their personalities.

While Jenny from the Block seems poised to fill Paula Abdul's old role of being the bright sider judge with words of infinite encouragement, Tyler proved he had a knack for picking talent, and didn't have any trouble shooting people down.

Cowell's absence, however, was definitely felt during the show. In one notable instance, Springfield, MA, native Ashley Sullivan barely sang her way into a golden ticket to Hollywood despite some bewildered looks and harsh criticism from the judges panel. Sullivan, who described herself as "awkward" in a pre-audition interview, sang "Gimme Gimme" from Thoroughly Modern Millie, before breaking down in tears and begging the judges to send her to Hollywood.

Despite a "no" from Jackson, Tyler and Lopez voted her through in a move that would have had Cowell up in arms.

Check out her audition below.

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