Jennifer Lopez Mulls American Idol Future: Do We Want Her Back? Take Our Poll!

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

American Idol: 10 Changes We’d Make for a Better Season 11

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?

‘Idoloonies’ Interviews with Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and More!

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!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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226 Comments
  1. Amy says:

    I’ve nothing against JLo or how she did on Idol…she had good moments…then it seemed all the Idol Judges just succumbed to “The (*cough* Simon Fuller)System”…wouldn’t have mattered WHO was a judge.
    But I’d much prefer Shania Twain. She was GREAT as a guest judge the year before, and would have been my pick for last year…and I think she’d have played nicely off Steven too…since she’s always been a cool rocking kind of country pop diva. And she’s fresh off OWN network’s “Shania Twain-Why Not?” and is headed toward a BIG return in Vegas in Dec. 2012.

    I would like Steven back, unlike many here I actually liked him all season (albeit the ‘sell-out’ I mentioned they ALL did at the end)…but not sure they’re just not going to clean sweep.
    Guess we’ll all just have to see.

    • Amy says:

      oops…only a few weeks out and my mind’s already spaced out the key players’ names..duh… I meant Nigel (not Simon F.)..anyway, the-powers-that-be that contrive the show…same deal.

  2. janie says:

    Almost all the things in your Con list can be attributed to any judge that american idol will get (except for the spider eyes.. but i dont think she had those!! ) if the judges are supposed to spin their comments in a certain way.. thats goign to happen regardless of who they get.. otherwise they wont have a job very long..

    at least with JLO we know what we are getting into.. and when she gave advice it was really good..

    if they dont get her back then i say instead of having another permanent judge.. i say we have a rotating judge, kind of like they do on so you think you can dance. that way we get different ideas and criticism every week

  3. Gil says:

    So here’s the thing — I’ve actually become convinced that the producers are dictating (“suggesting?) what the judges say in their reviews. Watch the end of Beautiful especially when the judges are talking. They are passing around notes from “upstairs” telling them what to say! Steve and Jlo actually disagree and give good reviews on this one, but Randy (good dawg!) sticks to the script…

    Really too bad…but it really tells me that the show has its agenda, and they have ways (short of manipulating votes) of skewing public opinion and getting the kind of show they want. This year’s all about the 15 year-olds and the reduced age for entry. Those extended “bios” at the beginning of the season say a lot.

    It’s actually quite creepy.

  4. Larali says:

    Yes if she commits to the following:
    - free will thinking (not Nigels’): she looked more natural and honest during the first weeks, so she might have good ideas inside.
    - improving her acting skills when she hates a female contestant.
    - acknowledging that showing the ‘spider eyes’ could kill her career. we don’t like it.
    - not acting as a groupie of male contestants, trying to make us believe they are perfect.
    - restraining herself from crying when some contestants leave or induce crying when talented contestants who she hates leave the show. (at least, hide the joy Jlo)
    If she fails on these subjects… don’t want to see her ever again. On idol or anything else for that matters…

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