If Day 1 in Hollywood is any indicator then there are a couple of givens:

Given 1: Ellen Degeneres will be a hit.

Given 2: A female will win this year.

AI purchased 181 round-trip tickets and after Tuesday, 96 still were in town. The rest were winging their way back home.

Kind of forgot the pressure of their opening night at the Kodak Theatre. But right from the beginning it was evident that the girls were going to rule.

Katie Stevens (“For Once In My Life”) took center stage and easily moved on. She was followed later on by Janell Wheller (“American Boy”), Haeley Vaughn (“We’ll Sing Hallelujah”), Mary Powers (“Sober”), Lily Scott (“Lullaby of Birdland”), Didi Benami (“Terrified”) and Crystal Bowersox (“Natural Woman”). Any one of them could move up the talant ladder and win it all.

Ellen’s best line of the night was at the beginning when she looked at Simon and said: “So this is it. I come on and you leave.”

The most heart-wrenching moment of the show was the dismissal of country girl Vanessa Wolfe. She flew for the first time to get to Hollywood, tried to sing “Rain” by Third Eye Blind and failed miserably. Afterward all she could say was, “I blew it. Sorry, mom,” while she was crying.

The most surprising failure was Amadeo DiRocco, the big Italian guy with the big Italian family. He even tried to beg for a second chance (he was denied) and he walked away, dream pffffttt!

Glad They Are Gone Category: Ski-Bo-Ski (he never should have received a Gold ticket in the first place); and Jay Stone, a beatboxer with marginal talent.

Wednesday night we move on to the Group Round.


By the way, the rumor that Howard Stern is one of the candidates to replace Simon next season…

Stern has about as much chance as I do of being the next AI judge. It wouldn’t be a shock if the shock jock started the rumor himself just for publicity.

Sorry, Howard, Sirius … ly….