The karaoke starts tonight

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Millions will tune in to American Idol tonight or, as I like to call it, America's Biggest Karaoke Contest.

Thousands of youngsters from around the country will try their best to win the largest popularity contest in the land, while singing karaoke each week.

It always cracks me up when Simon Cowell says a contestant's performance is a "little too karaoke." Um, yeah, that's because it is karaoke. OK, there's a live band instead of a taped song, and the songs are usually cut down to a minute or so...

Apparently, the geniuses at Fox are hoping to change things up and not air as much of the craptacular contestants — isn't that the part most people love to watch?

They're also not going to do Idol Gives Back - a telethon of sorts where they ask you, the poor viewer sitting at home, to donate your hard-earned money to charity. Meanwhile, American Idol gets $700,000 for each 30-second ad. Where is all of that money going?

There are going to be four judges this year — at least they added someone who has present-day music experience in Kara DioGuardi...

And, well, who cares, really? Paula Abdul will cry, Randy Jackson will call everyone his "dawg," Simon will tear people to shreds in the most accurate judging of the three and the new girl...well, we'll have to wait and see.

I'll post here from time to time - depending on how much of the show I can stomach - to give contestants nicknames, criticize the so-called "good performances" and continue to wonder why the show is so popular, yet so many former winners have gone nowhere.

Anyone heard from Ruben Studdard recently? What about Fantasia? How about David What's-his-name from last season? Seen Taylor Hicks on a street corner playing harmonica?

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