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Watch Kanye West audition for 'American Idol,' premiering its final season tonight on Fox



In honor of American Idol’s final-season premiere tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox, here’s a fun clip that’s been making the rounds: Kanye West “auditioning” before Idol judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr.

“My name is Kanye; I’m from the south side of Chicago,” he says in the clip (embedded below). “Originally a producer, I always wanted to rap, and nobody really believed in me.”

“I hope that works out, man,” says Urban.

Spoiler alert: Kanye got his golden ticket to Hollywood (even if, let’s be honest, Gold Digger wasn’t exactly an inspired audition choice). Will he stay in the cast beyond Week 1? Doubtful, but that’d be a heck of a twist, wouldn’t it?

Actually, here’s the twist we’re really hoping for: A final season of American Idol that’s actually culturally relevant.

There’s no question Fox’s onetime ratings juggernaut will never be the beast it once was, back in the days of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken. But Phillip Phillips won Idol only four short years ago. Seems like longer, since subsequent winners Candice Glover and Caleb Johnson have mostly disappeared from our cultural radar. (The jury’s still out on last season’s cast, but Nick Fradiani and Clark Beckham clearly aren’t superstars yet).

Last season’s Idol finale was its lowest-rated ever, even though the season itself actually made for some pretty entertaining television. Connick, Lopez and Urban have developed an engaging rapport since first uniting behind the judges’ table in 2014. This year’s Idol promises to be a star-studded affair, with past champions and judges returning for cameos. No doubt there’ll be plenty of celebrity cameos, too.

But can Idol churn out one more honest-to-goodness idol before the lights go down in Hollywood? We’re not asking for another Clarkson or Underwood or Jennifer Hudson, but even another Phillips or David Cook would be great — someone with genuine talent who can build a real career from what was once pop music’s greatest launchpad.

Hopefully the show won't take itself too seriously on its way out the door, and will have some fun along the way. Kanye’s audition is a pretty good start.

— Jay Cridlin

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 3:25pm]


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