Ryanseacrest_newyearsrockineve_240_002A scant 40 days separates us from the start of American Idol‘s sixth season, and the build-up has begun. FOX promos are thus far concentrating on the chasing-the-dream aspect of the show — that, and the legs of the girl who sang "Stormy Weather" at her audition — which means the inevitable flood of interviews with the show’s principals isn’t far behind.

And, lookee here, host Ryan Seacrest has a couple things to say about the show. Seacrest did a conference call Thursday, ostensibly to discuss his duties on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve ("It’s still surreal for me," he says of co-hosting the show with his own idol, Dick Clark. "It’s electrifying standing there in Times Square"). But he fielded some AI questions too, and had this to say about this year’s contestant pool.

"We have some of the most aggressive contestants," Seacrest says. "I think more than ever, the contestants came out to win and would let nothing stand in their way."

Hmm. Seems to me we’ve heard that tune before. I’d be willing to wager a day’s pay, too, that sometime between now and mid-January, you’ll hear someone involved with the show say this year’s singers are more talented than ever before, and in fact this will be the best season ever.

Granted, there’s only so much you can say about a show that A) is seen by more people than anything else on TV and B) is as rigidly structured and formulaic, especially in its early stages, as the Soviet Union’s May Day parades during the Cold War. And even if not one person believes a word coming from the show’s mouthpieces, it probably won’t matter. The show is what it is, and the audience will be what it will be, which is to say, huge.

Nonetheless, the message is getting sort of stale. Surely the next time someone asks Simon Cowell about the show, he’ll express wonder at the fact that there are still so many awful singers in America.

Score a couple points for honesty on Seacrest’s part, though, for this remark about the annual hordes of bad, and badly delusional, auditioners: "I finally got tired of a few contestants who were just … from another planet," he says. "… I’ve become a pretty good judge of whether people [are sincere] or just there for a put-on. But there were some people this year who really were naive" about their lack of talent.

You can see all the naivete, that "Stormy Weather" girl and all the rest of the Idol-alia starting Jan. 16.

Posted by:Rick Porter