Thursday, July 29, 2010

Surely You Jess!

Major changes are underway over at American Idol. Everyone’s been talking for months about who will replace Simon Cowell in the judges chair. Some of the names that have been bandied about include: Sir Elton John (I’d watch), Howard Stern (I’d NEVER watch), Justin Timberlake (can’t see it), Usher (too hot right now to sit on the Idol stage for months), Harry Connick Jr. (love him to pieces!), and Bret Michaels (won me over on Celebrity Apprentice but no). The latest name has me cowering in fear … Jessica Simpson.

Jessica Simpson? I mean, she has the loopy factor that Idol's been missing since Paula Abdul, but at least Paula had a real career, first as a dancer and choreographer and then as a chart-topping pop star. Has JS ever had a really big hit musically? I hope they can do better.

In other Idol news, former Idol executive producer and current So You Think You Can Dance executive producer and judge, Nigel Lythgoe is thisclose to regaining his seat as Idol executive producer. In the past, he’s said that if it were up to him, he’d start completely over with the judges. That’s right. No Kara. No Randy. No Ellen. It could be a bit tricky to pull a clean sweep however, as both Randy and Ellen have more time on their contracts. Still, I could go with that as long as they didn’t try to do a ‘star-studded’ panel.

The trouble with stars is that they became stars because they made it all about them. However, Idol is supposed to be all about the contestants and finding the next American Idol. I’m scared that an Elton or a Jessica or a Justin would make it more about themselves, and while listening to the judges critiques is part of the fun, it shouldn’t be the main reason for watching Idol.

Some celeb names I’d like to see given some serious consideration:

Harry Connick Jr.: Did I mention I just love him to pieces? Anyway, he gave some strong, constructive feedback while he mentored and he’s also funny and witty.

Shania Twain: She was a good mentor a few seasons back and had a good chemistry with the other judges when she was there this past season as part of the audition shows.

David Foster: He’s a hitmaker and he’s not afraid to give a very honest, very informed opinion.

Ben Folds: He was a hit on college radio plus he’s a damn good musician. He also was a focused and direct judge on NBC’s a capella singing show, The Sing Off, over the holidays.

Although, I’ve named four people off the top of my head, I really prefer a three-judge panel. Four judges is just too much.

Anyway, the buzz is that the new panel of judges could be revealed as early as Monday!

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