I sure am! Can you believe it's been almost eight months since "American Idol" dropped the curtain on Season 6? And, I must say, I agree with most of the stuff I've been reading from various media sources: This had better be a much-improved version over last year.
I don't want to be sitting here in March or April with another Sanjaya Malakar on my hands, uh, ears. But, according to judge Simon Cowell, whom I spoke with last week on a conference call, viewers can expect a more talented cast of characters.
At least by the Top 12.
Simon, of course, didn't say that the audition shows - which start tonight with the round from Philadelphia (at 8 p.m. on Channel 40) and then continues Tuesday from the one in Dallas - wouldn't have the usual weirdos, including one Pauley Nipple (pictured, and I couldn't make up that name) from New Hope, Pa., who apparently auditions - complete with chest hair showing! - with a love song written just for judge Paula Abdul.
Now, that's always a bad idea, no matter the season.
And, even though he doesn't really appreciate crying jags, Simon says that "tears on 'American Idol' don't do contestants any harm." Hey, just like with political candidates.
I'm hoping enough fans will dive in from the get-go, so we can keep some "Idol Chatter" going here at 21Q. I'll be posting as the show progresses with my thoughts on the talent level, the silliest moments, who Ryan Seacrest hits on, etc. Join the fracas - early and often!