After a long break that saw the release of two solo albums, a cross-country tour, a pee-wee version of the show, a not-quite-tell-all book, a bunch of specials that I didn't watch and 17 new shows involving Ryan Seacrest in some manner, the Return of the Jedi/Return of the King/Porky's III version of American Idol is on deck. In the third installment of those other trilogies, Luke Skywalker wanted to destroy the Empire, Aragorn wanted to defeat evil and Meat and the boys wanted to see more naked chicks.
So what will happen in the third - and best! - installment of the little show that could? Well, the judges definitely won't fight a battle against giant elephants and Seacrest probably won't thaw out Dunkleman from a block of carbonite, but almost anything else could happen! Because this show is magic, baby!
For instance, Randy Jackson could lose about 80 pounds. Actually, this has already happened and it's all thanks to a stomach bypass or an all-celery diet or something. Interestingly, he's also five inches shorter now, which I suppose is another good way to lose weight. Randy's metamorphosis raises the question, of course, of whether he bought a whole new wardrobe. His gear was already kinda baggy when he was stuffed. Maybe he'll still wear his old duds and just tell people it's raincoat chic. Or maybe he'll wear a lot of tank tops to flaunt what he got.
What else? Here's a good prediction for you about this year's show. It will have more pretty people, which I'm all for. If you ask me, the less-than-stunning shouldn't be on TV unless they're on PBS. This year, Idol should only consider singers as hot as the cast members of Las Vegas. The Idol recapper is unbelievably handsome, so we're off to a good start.
I'm also predicting more guest judges this year. Look for megastars like Oates, one of the Weathergirls and the other guy from Wham! to join the panel each week and offer stinging criticism like, "I liked it. It was good," and "I like your shirt," and "Yeah, not bad. Not bad."
As for Seacrest, he could go either way. Either he'll be so amazingly bubbly because he's just so excited about his live and unpredictable new talk show that people will confuse him for a squirrel and toss nuts at him, or he's going to absolutely hit the wall. He won't shave for a month and fall asleep during one of the results shows. One thing Ryan has to be careful about is not cynically plugging his talk show during American Idol.
So there you have it. The entire upcoming season of American Idol wrapped up in a neat bundle. Except for all of the singing and judging and voting and crying and whatnot. You'll have to actually watch the show for that noise.