Jennifer Lopez may be “On the Floor” with regard to her music career, but when it comes to reprising her role behind the American Idol judges’ table for Season 11, the lady is “on the fence.” Lopez expressed her ambivalence about returning to the Paula Abdul Memorial Chair in an interview with BBC Radio’s Scott Mills earlier this week.
This got me thinking about J.Lo’s Idol “journey” last season. Sure, in the Idoloonies season finale, I compared her to Sleeping Beauty’s terrifying villainess Maleficent and pretty much called for her eternal banishment from the Idoldome. But on the other hand,I have to acknowledge that she was part of the team that selected a pretty stellar Top 24 contestants. Without J.Lo, would I ever have known the brilliance of Kendra Chantelle, Lauren Turner, Pia Toscano, or Haley Reinhart? (My iPod just let out a blissful sigh as I typed those names into this item.) At the very least, I owe the “Jenny From the Block” singer some Pro and Con lists before passing final judgment:
Reasons to Keep J.Lo on Idol
* Super pretty hair provides visual safe haven during especially horrific performances
* Glowing skin is a gift from God to all of us
* Actually showed terrific judgment during carefully edited audition rounds, rejecting decent singers who needed more time to develop, and breaking bad news to hopeless “vocalists” using a firm but kind touch
* For a portion of the season — say, from Top 12 week to Top 9 week — offered succinct, pointed critiques that seemed designed to help contestants find ways to improve their performances
* Excellent object of rage during period of Nigel-led insurgence against Haley Reinhart’s unexpected rise
Reasons to Hurl J.Lo Into the Pit From Whence She Came
* Offered unrelenting praise for contestants like Jacob, Lauren, and James whether they were great, middling, or disastrous, thereby stunting their artistic development and vocal improvement over the course of the season
* Reduced to producers’ mouthpiece by midpoint of live-performance rounds, driving home pre-ordained storylines about contestants via tiresome themes (Lauren’s afraid to sing the big notes) and mind-numbing catchphrases (“emotionally perfect!”)
* Mean spider eyes betrayed a malevolent glee when choosing to critique Haley Reinhart while ignoring errors made by all of her rivals from Top 7 week forward
* That results-show “performance” of “On the Floor”
* Constantly harped on Pia Toscano for her ballad-heavy repertoire but never lodged complaints about tone or tempo against Stefano, Scotty, and Jacob, none of whom were exactly mixing it up stylistically prior to Top 9 week
* Likely contamination with Imbecillus Maximus virus after sitting next to Randy Jackson for five months
* Did I mention those mean spider eyes?
The evidence is in! I rest my case! And now, members of the jury, I turn it over to you. Head to the comments and debate the case for and against J.Lo returning to Idol for Season 11, then take our handy poll below. And for all my reality TV recaps, interviews, and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!