'American Idol' judges dish about the upcoming sixth season
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/08/2007
One hundred seventy-three singers. Three judges. One stage. Millions of Americans.
The sixth season of American Idol is set to premiere on Fox on Tuesday, January 16 at 8PM ET/PT with a two-hour episode of the reality competition series, and host Ryan Seacrest said this installment has all the highs and lows viewers have grown accustomed to over the years.
"These are the savviest contestants we've ever seen. There's aggression, intensity, a bit of every man or woman for himself or herself," Seacrest told Entertainment Weekly. "They don't care about making friends. They want to make money."
The three Idol judges also said this season is as competitive as ever, with no clear-cut favorite strutting their stuff during auditions. Despite the lack of a sure thing, the judges still gave general descriptions of their frontrunners. Randy Jackson told Entertainment Weekly the winner will be "someone with curly hair" while Simon Cowell has his sights set on "one girl who's got an incredible voice... but not much personality at the moment," as well as another contestant.
"[There's] one guy who stands out in the crowd and has what I call the likability factor," Cowell told Entertainment Weekly. "He's not what I would call the typical American Idol because he's different... but everyone liked him."
While Paula Abdul liked one young man who reminded her of Justin Timberlake, other boys auditioning for the competition have had a hard time standing out during the first day of the show's "Hollywood Week" round that resulted in the season's still undisclosed semifinalists.
"It's interesting having not seen them in a few months," Jackson told Entertainment Weekly after watching some of the "Hollywood Week" performances. "Some were good, but some of them we couldn't even remember. Things got so ugly that earlier Simon looked one contestant right in the eye and cracked, 'You're not going to win. You can leave.'"
However executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said contestants have been taking Cowell's criticism with a grain of salt.
"With Simon getting it wrong regarding [Idol 5 winner] Taylor [Hicks], it's ammunition for the contestants," Lythgoe told Entertainment Weekly. "If Simon says 'I don't like you,' now they say, 'I don't give a s---. You didn't like Taylor last year.'"
Before the sixth installment of Idol even has its semifinalists revealed, Abdul said fans of the series should appreciate many of the "delusional" people who auditioned.
"If people love that part of the show, they'll love this season," Abdul told Entertainment Weekly.
As for the guest stars who will appear during season six to mentor finalists for their Tuesday night performances , Entertainment Weekly said expect more marquee names as the series progresses.
"Everyone wants Paul McCartney, and there's a chance this year. It would be fantastic to do the Beatles songbook," Cowell told Entertainment Weekly. Added Jackson, "I don't cross my Idol life and my producer life that much, but I may call Mariah [Carey] this season and say, 'Yo, come on, dude. Get in this game.'"