The last we heard from country and pop superstar Shania Twain, she was going through a very public and very painful divorce. Since that time, Twain has remained underground, presumably holed up in her Swiss mansion.
But last night, Twain resurfaced to be a guest judge for the preliminary rounds of FOX’s “American Idol,” and she proved, despite little screen time, to be an enormous success. Kudos are coming in from all across the media. From Entertainment Weekly:
Every word she said, I loved.
From the Daily News:
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She still came across as a direct, no-nonsense assessor of singing chops.
Always looking alert and attentive, she often sat forward in her chair, elbows propped up on the table and chin resting in her hands, and she was given to open expressions of surprise - shaded with dismay or delight - at contestants' efforts. Her signature look had her eyebrows raised, and eyes wide in happy, or more often appalled disbelief.
One thing that really made her stand out from her guest-judge predecessors was her chemistry with Simon. It wasn't that Posh and Mary J. didn't have it, but her easy rapport with him is something that had been missing in Boston and Atlanta last week.
People on blogs, message boards, and in the Twitterverse also have kind words for Twain, who stood out in particular contrast to useless fourth judge Kara DioGuardi, who, as EW’s Michael Slezak noted, seems to spend every episode of the show bobbing her head and offering bland, lightweight advice to contestants.
Twain, by contrast, was attentive, and was SPECIFIC in how she thought each contestant could improve. You got the feeling she was genuinely interested in helping each singer, instead of just sitting there and thinking to herself, “Wow! I get to be a judge on ‘Idol’! HOW COOL IS THIS?!” She also displayed the proper amount of shock and disgust at boob boxer girl.
You would think anyone could be a judge on these shows. It looks easy. You hear people sing, and then you tell them if they suck or not. Yet “idol” and other show prove, time and again, that good judges are extremely hard to find.
They can’t be annoying. They can’t be stupid. They can’t be high on Percocet. That narrows the pool down to about five people, and Shania Twain is apparently one of them. With any luck, this isn’t the last you’ve seen of her on “Idol”.