A few months ago, I wrote a blog post declaring “American Idol” dead, or at least having one foot in the grave. The 2010 season of the “talent show” was less than thrilling. Ellen annoyed me and Kara and Simon’s banter couldn’t replace the rapport Simon and Paula had shared. I was ready to stop watching the show. In fact, I only half-watched as Lee DeWyze was named the next American Idol.
Simon had announced that he would not be returning for another season. Then, last week, Ellen announced she was done with the show. And a day later, reports began to surface that Kara had been fired from the show. That left only the Dawg, Randy Jackson, under contract as a judge. Rumors have been swirling about replacement judges. Everyone from Howard Stern to Justin Timberlake were mentioned as possibly joining the hit show.
However, according to entertainment site TMZ (http:www.tmz.com), the replacements have been chosen, and all that’s left is to sign the contracts. Reportedly, Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Stephen Tyler will join Jackson on the new 3-judge panel when the new season gets under way in January 2011. Fox has not issued a statement yet, and probably won’t until all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.
If JLo and Tyler do join “Idol,” their addition would certainly breath new life into the aging show. Both of them are huge personalities who have enjoyed huge success in the music industry. Their comments would definitely carry more weight and be more respected than the inane chatter Ellen would throw around. Even Kara, who has been a successful songwriter for years, never seemed quite comfortable during her two years on the show. The experience JLo and Tyler have performing should help them feel more comfortable on the biggest stage in American television for musical talent.
I certainly will tune in and see how the new judges fit, but I’m not yet ready to declare the show must-watch TV again. That will have as much to do with the level of talent the three judges send through as it does with who the judges are. So Randy, Jennifer and Stephen, choose wisely, or else “Idol” really may be dead.