I usually don't post anything at all about the audition episodes, but since this was the first edition of the completely revamped show, some very quick initial thoughts:
Ryan Seacrest - Still awesome.
Randy Jackson - Still useless.
Steven Tyler - I think his act is going to be REALLY annoying once we get into the live shows. Remember last season...Ellen was actually very entertaining in the taped shows when they could edit out everything but the funniest parts, but once we went to the live shows there was no way to edit out the awkward parts. I have a feeling the Steven Tyler situation is going to be very similar.
And, dude...he has GOT to stop leering at the sixteen year old contestants. He is old enough to be their GRANDFATHER. That's not "rock star"....that's "pervert".
Jennifer Lopez - She is entirely too nice for this job. At this point, she is supposed to be a JUDGE, not a mentor, and she's not doing people any favors by sending people on to Hollywood who aren't ready.
I will say this, though...I will definitely miss Simon (and Kara, for that matter), but Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are by FAR the most qualified judges they have ever had, as far as having actual career success to draw on.
As for the contestants...I like that we seem to be focusing less on the mentally challenged freak show, but my concerns about whether we can get a better batch of contestants this season remain. There was not a single contestant that made me say "WOW", but there were several that I am looking forward to hearing more from.
I probably won't post any more recaps until we get to the live performances...so far, I'm still on board, but the caliber of contestants we end up with in the top 20 will be the real factor that will decide whether I'm out or not.