I saw a news story today under the headline “American Idol Seeks Replacements for Departing Judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler,” and I immediately thought: duh. The most popular show in America, which has always had three or four judges (remember that ill-advised Ellen Degeneres season?), announces the departure of two of its judges, so of course they are going to ‘seek to replace’ them. Nobody wants to watch Randy Jackson as the solo judge of any competition.
The next news stories will be feelers for different potential judges. They will be leaked carefully to the press in order to judge public opinion. Two years ago, Jennifer Lopez was their apparent dream candidate, and Steven Tyler was a sort of surprise contender. They both have large fan bases that they couldn’t afford to alienate, so neither of them was able to fill the shoes of Simon Cowell, who has always been the sole voice of reason on the show.
Simon’s disappointing results with the first season of his own show, which I’m pretty sure is called ‘The X Factor’ (and really, I couldn’t watch more than a few episodes, even though I thought that British host was kind of cute), should make the way forward clear: one more season of “The X Factor,” followed by a period of unrest and rampant speculation, immediately followed by the announcement of Simon Cowell’s return to American Idol, for which he will be (and should be) paid something like $80-100 million dollars per season (while this seems INSANELY high, to put this in perspective, Dolly Parton was paid $40 million per season for starring in a show that lasted only a single season during the 1987/88 TV season—TWENTY years ago!). Is Simon worth it? If he can turn this foundering ship around, then HELL, YES, he’s worth it. I tuned out when Simon left, because, really, who wants to watch Jennifer Lopez and Sleazy Gramps (Steven Tyler) try to tell somebody they suck without hurting their feelings?
So hire Mayim Bialik or Soleil Moon Frye for all I care, because the next season is just filler anyway.
If you want to know who I’d REALLY love to see judging the show, then:
- Not Randy Jackson
- Velma from ‘Scooby Doo’ (voiced by Mindy Cohn, who was Natalie on ‘Facts of Life’)
- Tony Danza (because he’s still so easy to look at).
- Robert Rey, ‘Doctor 90210’
- H.R. Pufnstuf
- Charles Nelson Reilly (even though I know he’s dead—hell, hire the ghost of Paul Lynde while you’re at it).
- Roddy McDowall (as Cornelius from The Planet of the Apes)
- John Waters
- Kevin Smith (I actually think this would be fun/funny to watch).
- Pat Smear