Don’t act so surprised. After weeks of rampant speculation, FOX offically annouced the new panel of judges to be featured in American Idol season 10. They are Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy “the dawg” Jackson. Joining the new slate of judges is Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records; he will serve as an in-house mentor for the contestants.
Says Jenny from the block: “For nine years I’ve enjoyed watching artists compete to get a meaningful chance to achieve their dreams. I know from my own experience how hard it is to succeed, and I’m looking forward to discovering and nurturing that spirit in the many American Idol contestants I look forward to meeting this year.”
Tyler, former frontman of Aerosmith, told fans of the show: “I’ve been on tour for most of my life in a band with four guys who judge me every day. Sometimes it hurt, but it only made me stronger. I want to give everybody a little love before I decide who goes home heartbroken. If you don’t like what I say, don’t get mad, get better. I’m ready to bring some rock to this ‘roller’ coaster and show these kids if they have the dream, the talent and the drive, they will be the next American Idol.”
If you were hoping series creator Nigel Lythgoe would find a true Simon Cowell replacement, you will be sorely disappointed. “I don’t know whether there will be a replacement,” Randy Jackson said. “We all have our moments of toughness and nurturing and sweetness.” J. Lo added, “I believe in tough love but I don’t think I can ever be cruel to another artist. There are definitely better ways to say things.” Oh fooey. American Idol returns January 2011.
Last night FOX released a press statement informing American Idol fans that judge Kara DioGuardi is leaving the show. DioGuardi says: ”I felt like I won the lottery when I joined American Idol two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave Idol. I am very proud to have been associated with American Idol — it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, as well as the cast, crew and contestants, for all they have given to me. I look forward to my next challenge, and want to thank everyone who has supported me. All the best to everyone on Season 10!” AI creator and executive producer Simon Fuller shared his sentiments on the matter: “Kara is one of the world’s best songwriters. She has been passionate and committed to Idol over the last two seasons. I will miss having her on the show, but I look forward to working with her in music for many years to come.”
DioGuardi is the third judge to leave the show prior to the start of the tenth season. Simon Cowell bid farewell last season and Ellen DeGeneres departed in July. Randy Jackson remains the last dawg standing. The latest reports pin Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as likely replacements. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe publically stated that he wishes for the show to return to a three-person judges panel. Season 10 premieres in January 2011, so it’s just a matter of time before we are informed about the new slate of judges.
Ellen DeGeneres has decided to call it quits after only one year as the judge who just couldn’t fit in on American Idol. Today FOX released two statements, one from DeGeneres and the other from the network itself.
DeGeneres: “A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings. I loved the experience working on IDOL and I am very grateful for the year I had. I am a huge fan of the show and will continue to be.”
Peter Rice, FOX Chairman of Entertainment: “We love Ellen and understand and support her decision to bow out of Idol. We were fortunate to receive the humor, energy and love for talent that she brought to the show.”
According to the latest reports, American Idol creator Simon Fuller will be back for season 10, and he hopes to bring new judges to the panel. Judge Simon Cowell left the show to produce the American version of The X Factor, and this leaves a huge gap to fill. Justin Timberlake and Elton John are currently in talks with the network concerning this matter. The state of Kara Dioguardi and our main dawg Randy Jackson remains up in the air until a final decision is made. The Television Critics Tour begins this Monday; it would be wise for FOX to steal the show by announcing an exciting new panel of judges there.
Update: According to a report from Deadline, Jennifer Lopez will take DeGeneres’ place as a new American Idol judge for season 10. FOX and JLo’s reps have yet to comment on the breaking news. Deadline also spills that “unconfirmed reports” target Steven Tyler as a possible Cowell replacement (that’s in addition to Justin Timberlake and Elton John).
It’s the “Pants On the Ground” official remix. As made famous by American Idol reject General Larry Platt. “I have a horrible feeling that song could be a hit,” hypothesized judge Simon Cowell. If you missed the original audition it’s after the break.
This season of American Idol will be the last for judge Simon Cowell. He is leaving because he plans to bring a version of the British hit show The X Factor to the US. (The X Factoris the show that jumpstarted Leona Lewis’ career.) Cowell noted that there was discussion to work on both shows at the same time but ultimately it wouldn’t work out. Cowell will serve as both executive producer and judge on The X Factor in the States. For those of you who think the two shows are very similar Cowell points out that “the auditions are done in quite a different way.” Auditions are held in large auditoriums “that fill 2000 or 3000 people” and are broadcasted live with a backing track. Also, the age requirements are different; you must be at least 14 years old to audition and there is no age limit. The X Factor will premiere on FOX in fall 2011.
Now the question remains–who will fill Cowell’s shoes at American Idol? Ellen DeGeneres replaced Paula Abdul, that was easy. It’s going to be difficult to replace Cowell; he is the face of the show and a big contributor to its iconic stardom. FOX reps say they will find a replacement sometime in 2011 in time for season ten. Cowell on his departure: “[I am] confident [Idol] will continue to be the number one show. You want to leave on a high. I’m very proud of what the show has achieved. It’s been a fantastic time. I think America needs a second show. A different show. I’m going to put my heart and soul into this [The X Factor].”
Funnywoman and successful talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently signed a deal that officially hits the nail in the coffin for Paula Abdul’s departure from Americal Idol. DeGeneres has signed a 5-year deal with ICM. She will be occupying Abdul’s vacant seat through at least the thirteenth season of AI. Says DeGeneres: “I’m thrilled to be the new judge on American Idol. I’ve watched since the beginning, and I’vealways been a huge fan. So getting this job is a dream come true, and think of all the money I’ll save from not having to text in my vote.” Question is, what does Ellen know about musical talent? She’s a comedian; sure she’ll bring laughs to the show, but how can she properly contribute to the show’s search for the next greatest singer if she doesn’t have a trained ear for it? I hope my perplexity is eased once things get rolling. One thing’s for sure–I know I’ll miss drunken Abdul drinking “cola” from the judge’s table. (FYI–I haven’t watched AI in its entirety since the premiere season. If you do not watch the show, please let me recommend you to at least witness the hilarity that is the first few “audition episodes.” It’s a treat.
After judging contestants for eight years, judge Paula Abdul will not return for Season 9 of American Idol this year. She broke the news on Twitter: “With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to #IDOL. I’ll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all … being a part of a show that I helped from day 1 become an international phenomenon.”
According to numerous sources, the reason she is not returning to the show involves money and contract issues. She was asking for as much as $20 million a year to stay on the show, and it looks like the two sides could not come to an agreement. At least she is leaving the show with an untarnished image, right? Uh, not so much. Over the years, Abdul has been criticized for her unusual behavior and her supposed relationship with one of the show’s contestants. Her quirkiness, drunken states of mind, unpredictability, and memorable interactions with co-judge Simon Cowell were definite crowd pleasers, and I am curious to see if ratings will continue to skyrocket without Abdul drinking rum and coke in between takes. For now, Cowell, Jackson, and DioGuardi remain the current judges, and Ryan Seacrest will continue to host.
Those Lil Rabbits in ‘American Idol Finale, Homeboy Version!!!’