Ever since Nigel Lythgoe returned to his duties as Executive Producer of “American Idol” there’ve been a number of changes. The obvious reason was the show has been tanking in the ratings. One dramatic change is the unexpected turn of events with the judges, Ellen DeGeneres and KaraDioGuardi. According to TMZ Ellen tweeted “I’ve voted myself off American Idol.” Now in another ongoing shakeup Kara DioGuardi is gone. Supposedly she was fired, but nevertheless isn’t returning. Her immediate replacement is now the dancer/pop singer, Jennifer Lopez. An announcement will be made regarding Simon Cowell’s predecessor on Monday.
During the early seasons on “Idol” they had the original judges, along with a celebrity guest judge periodically. Obviously that seemed to work extremely well, because the show’s ratings simply climbed to new heights. It was the number one show for many seasons until around Season 6. The show developed the idea of having mentors starting in Season 5 with Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, Queen and Rod Stewart to name a few. In subsequent seasons it had the same format of celebrity mentors including coincidentally enough, Jennifer Lopez, in Season 6 for Latin Week.
However, in Season 8 “American Idol” came up with an idea that had not been done before of adding a fourth judge to the table. The ratings never got better. Paula Abdul, the original judge since the beginning, left after Season 8. She was then replaced by someone outside of the music industry to give the non-musical viewers a voice. Once again the ratings continued to drop throughout Season 9. Now with Simon Cowell officially gone after the Season 9 finale it has been non-stop speculation of who will be his replacement. With Ellen and Kara now gone one void has now been filled with Jennifer Lopez who seems almost déjà vu of Paula Abdul. They both have dancer backgrounds and had extraordinary success as pop singers.
TMZ is also reporting the show will remain in its original three judge’s format. Randy Jackson is safe as the only original judge now left. It is continually reported by TMZ and other sources the front man for Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, will replace Simon Cowell. Supposedly they want a judge the Baby Boomer generation can relate to. He may be a great rock star, but I do not see Steven Tyler comfortable as a TV personality whatsoever. This could be another disastrous fit like it was with Ellen.
The other possible candidate whom I feel would be an outstanding judge is Brett Michaels, the lead vocalist of the glam rock band Poison. He has taken to reality TV like a duck to water. If Brett is the eventual replacement, the show’s rating could see some improvement. Brett Michaels has been in the media extensively due to his health issues, which may hinder him from being a judge on ‘American Idol’. Only time will tell. Until then, FOX will make the long-awaited announcement who takes over Simon’s spot at the judging panel on Monday at the Television Critics Association seminar.
Zennie62, “American Idol chaos: J-Lo in, Kara DioGuardi fired, Ellen DeGeneres quit”, SF Gate
TMZ Staff, “Ellen DeGeneres Votes Herself Off ‘American Idol'”, TMZ
Lyndsey Parker, “Here Come the Judges: J-Lo & The Latest ‘Idol’ Replacement Contenders”, Yahoo! Music
TMZ Staff, “Kara DioGuardi — Out at ‘American Idol'”, TMZ