This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
If the promo reels shown to TV critics are any indication, "American Idol" is about to get creepier than it's ever been before.
Specifically, Steven Tyler is about to get creepier. And he was pretty creepy to begin with.
Apparently, the show's 11th season, which begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Fox/Ch. 13, is going to play up the teenage girls flirting with Tyler. And Tyler flirting back.
If any other 63-year-old man displayed this kind of behavior at the local mall, he might end up in handcuffs.
Fox, of course, thinks this is all in good fun. Fox Entertainment president Kevin Riley said he thinks Tyler "really walks that line" between fun and freaky "expertly."
And, he pointed out, Tyler is himself "the father of daughters."
True. But the Aerosmith frontman isn't exactly father-of-the-year material when it comes to his four daughters by three different women.
However, nobody at Fox is worried about the sexual innuendo involving Tyler and girls who are not just young enough to be his daughters, but young enough to be his granddaughters.
"He is who he is," Reilly said. "I think the audience has fun with it. I don't think we've gotten into any creepy territory."
Clearly not, given that the network is promoting that creepy territory in its "Idol" commercials.
Reilly is a great guy. A prince among network executives.
But he's wrong here.
Watching 63-year-old Steven Tyler making suggestive comments to teenage girls is beyond creepy. It's mega-creepy.