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Simon Says: Harry Connick, Jr. Joins 'American Idol' Ranks, Revives Interest in Show

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jan 17, 2014 06:16 PM EST

Well, I'm certainly one to never watch the American Idol saga unfurl. But that doesn't stop the incessant buzzing of idolatry talk and gossip; you know it, the who-sang-whats and the can-you-believe-that chatter.

Perhaps it's as inescapable as mainstream culture, which pervades the landscape both here in the U.S. and internationally--the globalization of American custom is on the up, always.

Aside from music warranting more merit than a poll conducted per household of who deserves to win--that is the antithesis of what we do as musicians--you can't argue that the show is overtly popular.

But it wasn't until recently that I'd heard about a renaissance of the show, due, in part, to the newly added Harry Connick, Jr., actor and, what most have forgotten, jazz singer and pianist.

Indeed, the star-studded judge has a knack for talent and may be the saving grace to the show's otherwise decreasing ratings.

Now, he may not deliver quite like Jennifer Lopez, but he is certainly an aficionado that stands up to his newly found reputation of discerning those worthy from those who aren't.

He may also be the charmer-cum-critic that the other two judges are weary of becoming.

When 19-year-old Munfarid Zaidi recounted his affinity for the lovely NoLA native, Connick, Jr. responded with requited praise. And as per the judge's promise, if Zaidi were to sing his audition tune so well, Connick would cradle him on his second--to which the latter lived up, craddling the youngling as if Munfarid were his own.

Hopefully, there will be some semblance of real talk about the new judge--he's certainly got my attention this time around. But sadly, I still refuse to purchase cable for something more than a Walking Dead episode.

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TagsHarry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, American Idol, Munfarid Zaidi, The Walking Dead