It was the worst kept secret in shows business, but ‘American Idol‘ went ahead earlier this week and announced what we all knew – namely that Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler are joining sole remaining original judge Randy Jackson on the new season. It’s a stunning addition of star power for the show’s 10th season. But is it enough to reverse a steady decline in ratings and whispers the reality juggernaut may no longer have a stronghold on the pop culture zeitgeist?
Following the announcement, our readers were divided in their opinions. ‘Love the new judges,” wrote Pammie6. “Who cares?” said Hammer. Of course, the show announced more changes than judges. Theme weeks are gone, Interscope, Geffen and A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine was brought in as music supervisor, and returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe made it clear the focus is going to be on finding real talent, not cute teenyboppers or gimmicky heartthrobs.
It’s possible to imagine Tyler unloading on a singing hopeful and J. Lo providing the heart and soul that has been missing since Paula Abdul was dismissed. (And J. Lo, it seems, is much more articulate.) Indeed, Mr. Jackson will likely need to update his game, and his vernacular, dawg.
In any event, there’s potential here. If they find great talent, and if they ratchet up the quality of the music, and if they judges prove they have something to say, and have the guts to say it, and if there are fewer gimmicks and more chemistry, more performances that make it seem like this show once again can discover a genuine ‘American Idol,’ then count us back in. But is something like that even possible? Can the new judges and the production tweaks recharge the show? What do you think?
Below, our favorite user comments of the week:
love the new judges, will surly spark it up. ellen was all wrong for that job, she needs to stay where she is fantastic! lets just hope the judges can come up with better talent! — pammie6
I wish it weren’t so, but Idol is past its prime and it’s time for it to go away with some dignity, not limp along for a few more years with mediocre judges and awkward format changes. I may give it a try anyway because you can’t really judge something before you’ve seen it, but I think it will all be too little too late. The show needed overhauling a few years ago while it still had a chance to succeed. — Lilly
They really think that these two can replace Simon? One rocker past his prime who is barely coherent and a actress/singer/dancer whose only talent is self-promotion and a big butt? Goodbye American Idol, I’ll be waiting for Simon’s new show. — Michelle
First of all we watch AI to see the talent. IF The talent is good this year we will watch no matter who the judges are. You people are forgetting that the judges really aren’t that important, they just give THEIR opinion, and in the end it is up to us. You could have Larry Curly and Mo at the judges table so what. — JME
i think this could be a great change for idol. i’m looking forward to the new season. i’ts something to look forward to give them a chance instead of knocking it down before they even start. if people don’t like the choice of judges just don’t watch. i for one am looking forward to it. no one can replace simon but things change. who knows you all might like it. — sammy