Ten years ago, a veteran British entertainment mogul named Simon Fuller had the very bright idea to adapt his smash hit UK television show Pop Idol for an American audience. The result was a program called American Idol, and its impact on the television landscape (as well as our culture-at-large) cannot be underestimated. It has spawned dozens of imitators, and withstood all challenges to remain the highest rated show on American television (not counting the NFL, natch).
At this time last year, the departure of Simon Cowell and the failed run of Ellen Degeneres had many industry observers prophesying that the show was dead in the water. However, in a semi-remarkable twist, the show actually gained new life thanks to the star power of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Speaking of the latter, the Aerosmith lead singer brought something to the show that it had been lacking since Day One: A whiff of sex. Despite the fact that the 63-year-old Tyler is old enough to be the grandfather of most of the contestants, his naturally libidinous and undeniably charismatic persona added an exciting new element to the program.
Oh, and did we mention that Steven Tyler just might be the most lovable creep on television? His entendre-laden, heavily sexual metaphors arguably provide just as much entertainment to viewers at home as the actual performances themselves. Which is why we here at VH1 Tuner are excited to debut the Dude Is Acting Shady Meter*, which will keep track of Tyler’s come-ons and rank them on a scale of 1-5, one that ranges from Innocently Innocuous to EWWWWWWWW!. So, without further ado, let’s get into last night’s Season 11 premiere of American Idol.
WHO: Shannon Magraine
SET-UP: When this six-foot tall 15-year-old was accompanied by her twenty-nine female siblings (only a slight exaggeration), her striking mom and her ex-MLB pitcher father (!) in the judge’s lair, Tyler’s boner just about knocked over the judge’s table.
TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Hot, humid and happenin’ … just like your daughter.”
DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 5/5 – EWWWWWWWWW!
WHO: Erika Nowak
SET-UP: This Buffalo resident went all the way down to Savannah, Georgia, not to try out for Idol, but to meet her “future ex-husband” (a line so bad she said it twice). She managed to grab a handful of Tyler’s bony butt, which prompted this humdinger of a line (which, to be TOTALLY honest, we’re not even sure what it means!).
TYLER’S COMMENTS: “If I get any closer to you, I’ll be on the other side of you.”
DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 4/5 – You’re Pushing It, Bro
WHO: Amy Bromville
SET-UP: This Gatlinburg, Tennessee resident is, for all intents and purposes, homeless. She lives in a tent in the woods, but somehow, Steven Tyler turned those circumstances into something nefarious.
TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Out of the tent and into Hollywood … It’s spirits, and the children of the woods snuck into you. And I like that. Hell yeah.”
DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 3/5 – Pushing The Borderline
WHO: Lauren Mink
SET-UP: This cute blonde who works with people with adult disabilities is, without a doubt, an innocent. Steven Tyler can sense it, you can tell — his nostrils flared up ever so slightly when Mink enters the room. Fortunately for Mink (and her overly protective mother, see below), he manages to temper his desire to deflower her while the cameras roll (and Randy watches).
TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Mmmmm, you sure are … Nice little audition there, girl.”
DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 2/5 – Mildly Racy
(PS – Nice work, Mom — She knows that you don’t want to flash a high thigh bruise when Seacrest is on the prowl!)
WHO: Brittany Kerr
SET-UP: WOW! This 24-year-old dancer for the Charlotte Hornets NBA franchise might be the single most attractive contestant in the history of Idol. Add to the fact that she’s named “Brittany”— with two T’s, no less!— and it’s GAME ON, right? Weirdly, no. For some reason, Steven Tyler refuses to pounce. Is he over “conventional” beauties?
TYLER’S COMMENTS: “You just gotta push it out a little bit more, you know what I’m sayin?”
DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 1/5 – Innocently Innocuous
*We would be remiss if we didn’t thank Liz Black, our very own VH1 Blog editor, for coming up with this genius phrase. THANKS LIZ!