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Few Sparks as Tyler, Lopez Test Post-Simon 'Idol'
January 12, 2011  | By Bill Brioux
 
idol-tca-jan-2011-press-tour.jpg
PASADENA, Calif. -- If the 10th season of American Idolturns out to be as dull as press tour's American Idol panel, this deal is in trouble.

Tuesday's TCA session had its moments -- mainly a few quips from Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez's outrageous leopard-print pumps -- but missing from the session was the blunt Brit, the straw that stirred this drink, Simon Cowell. Cowell always told the truth here at press tour, and his candid banter was sorely missed. One memorable press tour session, the other Idol judges made no effort to cover up for last minute no-show Paula Abdul.

Those were the days.

Tuesday morning, there was no tension in the room, just the usual promo blather we get in other sessions. Phrases like "We're going to kick it up a notch" landed with a thud. Ryan Seacrest sat silent throughout, save for a few murmurs. There were nine people up on the stage, as if sheer numbers would make up for the fact that Cowell was adios.

jennifer-lopez-tca-shoes.jpg

Even Tyler and Lopez looked bored about 10 minutes into the packed press tour session. Tyler woke up in time to get in a few colorful zings. He got rock star macho at one point, gushing about Lopez to the point other panel members started reminding Tyler that J-Lo's hubby Marc Anthony was in the room. Tyler's excuse was that he was Italian, and, well, these things happen.

Returning executive producer Nigel Lithgoe revealed that the contestants will be in Vegas at one point to attend The Beatles' Love show and that they'll be challenged to learn a Beatles song in a day. That doesn't sound that tough.

Returning judge Randy Jackson, we learned, has slid down to Simon's old chair on the judging panel. Dawg.

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Stood next to Tyler in the crowded post-session scrum. The dude wears snakeskin sneakers. When I asked him why, he said it was because his feet are so messed up, somebody in his posse tricked out these shoes for him. Dangling from his neck were enough chains to make Mr. T jealous, including one with a silver, bejeweled skull on it. If you were going out for Halloween as a glammed-up rock star, this is exactly the getup you would buy at The Party Factory.

Tyler told me he has had no conversations at all with Cowell, just never happened. A reporter who has covered him for years from the music side told him he was lookin' good, what was his secret. As he was dragged offstage by a beefy security guard, he said he has been sober for a year. I'm not saying I hope he falls off the wagon, but it would really juice up the show.

Lopez looked great up close and from a distance. North American viewers might also want to get close enough to smell her when Idol returns Jan. 19-20.

With Simon gone, however, there's a different kind of stink on this show that Lopez's many fragrant scents simply can't mask.

Seacrest out.

 
 
 
 
 
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