NOTES: ‘American Idol’ Season 12, Episode 1

– Is “Idol” milking the success of Phillip Phillps’ “Home” for all it’s worth or what? When we get to the live shows, are they going to trot out “The Fab 5” to do a quick routine? Regardless, the one competitive advantage that the show has is its track record in producing stars – from Kelly to J-Hud to Daughtry to Carrie Underwood. Obviously, that isn’t lost on producers.

– When I was talking about the new judges, I pointed this out: the drop off in credentials from Mariah-Keith-Randy to Nicki is staggering. Despite citing the albums sold by the first three judges, they chose not to drop a single sales number for Minaj – instead dropping her Billboard record along with some fluff about how she’s the hottest artist around. Who you foolin’ “Idol”?

– Interesting fact: Mariah Carey has sold almost as many albums as all of the Idols, ever… combined.

– Carey would reference this later in the show, but early on it was clear you had three rookies and Randy up there, with Jackson leading the charge on every singer, and of course not afraid to shoot from the hip.

– If the first audition shown is any indication of how the season will go, we’re in for a long one.

– The moment Tenna Torres of Queens had with Mimi was genuine – if Carey has more moments like that, “Idol” will rejuvenate her image in the same way it did for J-LO.

– Our first Jimmy Iovine-mandated Beats headphones placement of the season comes with 15 year-old James Bae. Poor kid.

– Was very impressed by 21 year-old Christina “Isabelle.” Anyone else notice they didn’t use her real last name? Apparently the surname used is a stage name and/or a method to keep the masses from finding her on social networks (nothing Deadspin couldn’t figure out I’m sure). A quick search revealed her name is Christina Pasqualone and she does in fact go by solely “Isabelle” when on stage. Surprised show producers allowed her to use the nickname and not her birth name on the show.

– Really thought Evan Ruggiero was talented enough to move on; obviously an inspirational story as well.

– Do we need a different hashtag every time the subject changes on “Idol”?

– Had no idea that this year you could nominate people to sing in front of the judges. Felt bad for Jessica Kartalis – what an anticlimactic moment on the show. By the way, Jessica – unprotect your Twitter account – you should be milking your exposure for all it’s worth!

– Mariah speaking Hebrew… I can’t.

– Big far of Sarah Restuccio. If she can improve her rapping a bit – the combination of that with her voice can go a long way not just for this competition, but her career.

– For a show that prides itself on past success stories, we have to sit through a whole lot of bad singers during these auditions. I call it the “William Hung effect.”

– I can’t believe the “Turbinator” got sent to Hollywood, or that they actually referred to him as that. Awful.

– Wasn’t nearly as much bickering between the Nicki and Mariah as I had anticipated. If “Idol” continues to over-hype the product, the ratings will continue to under-deliver.

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