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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban kick off the new season of "American Idol" tonight on Fox.

As much as 'American Idol' is the same, it is different


As America tunes into "American Idol" for a 12th season tonight, we will see how much different the judging panel and contestants will make the show that was once the most watched on TV.

When Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey join Randy Jackson in separating the possible talent from the throngs of others whose hopes will be dashed, we will see if the lineup change will bring in more viewers. Then again, it could just be simply everyone wants to laugh at reactions of the young people – and their parents – as they find out they aren't good enough to make it to the next round.

When USA Today asked each judge what they bring to the show, here's how they answered:

Urban: "An authenticity in my opinions on somebody. I'm probably a little harder on the country artists, because there's a lot of caricature-ish country people and I think country often gets a bit of a novelty persona unnecessarily …"

Carey: "I feel I bring experience, but also a certain kind of compassion that comes from a place of just as a little girl always feeling insecure, always feeling different, always feeling like I had to strive for this because I wasn't good enough as a regular human being because i had biracial parents, no money."

Jackson: "Love, duty, glue. Daisies (pointing to the designs on his shoes)."

Minaj: "Kooky."

An early screening for TV critics had many writing that Carey's appearance on the show seems to be like the ho-hum performance of Britney Spears on "X-Factor" – all the millions for no bite. But Minaj and her many wigs don't disappoint.

If "kooky" is your thing, then it's worth checking out the show at 7 p.m. tonight and tomorrow in its two-night premier on WITI-TV Fox 6.

SPORTS: Back in the day of the three big networks, before cable was as readily available, if you wanted to see coverage of sports outside of the football, baseball and basketball mainstream, you had to wait for specials. Sometimes it was "Wide World Of Sports" or even "Battle of the Network Stars." Well, "Battle" was never something really that special.

Anyhow, CBS, trying to gain a greater market share of the sports-watching public, will be covering the Monster Energy AMA Supercross on Sunday's "CBS Sports Spectacular." The episode will also cover competitive bucking battles with bulls.

In an age with multiple sports outlets up and down the dial, it will be interesting to see if CBS can get football fans – no longer rooting for a team if they are not in the playoffs – to tune in.

CEREMONY: Many news channels will be covering the inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden with a couple days of events on Sunday and Monday.

Fox News Channel will start its coverage at 10 a.m. Sunday with the private and public ceremonies that lead up to the balls on Monday evening. Foxnews.com will also offer a live stream of the inaugural address and other related events.

Talkbacks

TosaJim | Jan. 19, 2013 at 2:36 p.m. (report)

My wife and I watched American Idol since it first aired....but lost interest after the last 3 years of terrible judges. We no longer watch...Nickie and Mariah have doomed the show. It is no longer a talent contest...it's a celebrity contestto see who can be most obnoxious.

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