We open with a clip montage of London (Airports! Buildings! Birds! Speedboats! Ferris wheels! Desperate young people who want to be famous forever and ever!) as a couple of Brits voice over that Idol winners from eleven different nations have arrived here to compete for the title of "World Idol."
Ew. I thought the opening credits for American Idol were cheap. It looks like they just wrote out "World Idol" on a piece of paper, scanned it in, and used Photoshop to make it look a bit shiny. After a brief glimpse of a world map, it switches into the well-known opening of the liquid metal transsexual.
Oh my. This stage is hysterical. It's like the set for the last iteration of American Bandstand mated with the set for the late kids' game show, Fun House. Don't ask me why I know that show. I thought J.D. was hot. Shut up. The set, combined with the somewhat grainy filming and the really bad clothes and coifs in the audience, makes me feel as though I've gone back in time to the '80s and am watching television at about 2 PM on Saturday.
And now your hosts, Marilyn McCoo and Andy Gibb. No, not really. The hosts are Ant and Dec (short for Anthony and Declan), the duo who hosted the original British incarnation of the show. Ant looks like he's about 60 percent head, but they're both more entertaining and less pathetic and self-absorbed than Ryan Seacrest, so I can live with it. Apparently, viewers in various countries got different taped hosts, making me wonder exactly who Ryan Seacrest pissed off. I wonder if it's a whole Joan Rivers/Tonight Show thing where he didn't tell them he was getting his own syndicated talk show and now they're furious with him. Or maybe he's in rehab. Or getting plastic surgery. Or had an accident with the tanning shower and now he glows in the dark. Whatever. Ant and Dec tromp down on stage to a cheering audience. They greet everybody and explain the history of the show, apologizing for their responsibility in making Simon Cowell a household name. They've adapted the show for twenty-two different countries so far. You're next, Mongolia! Ant and Dec introduce the eleven contestants down on the stage, as the audience cheers some more. I'll save the details for each performance, although I'm sure the folks in the many nations with various differing cultures in the Middle East just love being referred to like a single country called "Pan-Arabic Region." After each contestant, we get to see their allies (or maybe just Brits bribed to wave their flags) in the audience. England's representative, Will Young, gets the most cheers, of course. He's still got that awful mullet.