J.Lo, Randy, Steven, & Ryan Officially Returning to Idol: What Changes Do You Want to See?

In what amounts to a very high-profile dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s, Fox announced this afternoon that Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, and Ryan Seacrest will all be back when American Idol‘s eleventh season kicks off Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

“From the very first day of auditions, we knew we had something special in our new judges panel, and we’re so happy that America felt that way too,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment at Fox, said in a release. “Together with Ryan – who is fantastic day in and day out – they built an incredible connection with both the contestants and our viewers, and I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome them all back to Idol for another season.”

Now look, I could easily throw on my cloak of visible sarcasm and rewrite Darnell’s statement — replacing “special” with “evil,” and maybe swapping “back to Idol for another season” with “to the Gates of Hell for all eternity” — but let’s be serious for a second: There were brief and scattered moments in Season 10 when Steven, Ryan, and yes, even Jennifer were rock solid, and occasionally terrific.

Steven was warm and witty and encouraging — without giving gold stars to absolutely everyone — during the audition rounds. (Yeah, he had the help of Idol‘s editing team, but you can’t create something from nothing.) And there was a period from Top 11 Week to, say, Top 7 Week — before she decided it was her No. 1 mission in life to drive an iron spike through the heart of Haley Reinhart’s Idol dreams — where Jennifer was offering incisive, constructive critiques, and looking pretty sensational while doing it.

So with my heart filled with optimism (or at least stony resignation that the ink on Randy’s contract has dried, and Simon Fuller won’t be paying him off to go sit in the Dawg House), I present the following poll for your consideration:

What other changes do you want to see in Season 11 of Idol? Will you be watching for sure, or are you drawing a line in the sand and ordering your “Team X Factor” and “Team The Voice” t-shirts online? Sound off below, and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (87)

  • is this a good thing?? We people who refuse to actually JUDGE? ummmm, no.

    Comment by Lily – August 17, 2011 09:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yea, that should read “who refuse to actually JUDGE.” They’ve got me that riled up!

      Comment by Lily – August 17, 2011 09:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • At the risk of repeating myself: The judges do their best work and fulfill their judging obligation before the public gets a chance to vote. Season 10 had a roster of contestants that put season 9 to shame. Once the viewers are doing the voting, the judges may encourage or critique as they see fit, but at that point the viewers are doing the choosing. If people need the judges to tell them who did well, they shouldn’t vote at all.

        Comment by Templar – August 17, 2011 10:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • what show were you watching?? All the judges did was read off a script, pimp whichever contestants Nigel ordered them to pimp, bash those who were not deemed the producer’s pets, and praise whichever off-key screetching of the week they were ordered to pimp. If they were actually giving HONEST feedback that would be one thing. Sadly honest feedback is the very last thing those 3 buffoons are giving.

          Comment by Lily – August 17, 2011 10:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • What part of “once the public gets to vote” didn’t you understand? I don’t rely on the judges pros or cons to make my decision. Simon destroyed Siobhan on a regular basis, making me despise him and still vote for her. If the sheep need to follow a bellwhether, that’s their misfortune.

            Comment by Templar – August 17, 2011 11:29 AM PDT  
          • +1 to Templar for knowing what ‘bellwether’ means. Lily, if the fact the judges are back is enough to rile you up, you probably shouldn’t watch this season. As I’ve mentioned every time this is brought up, most people liked the judges for the most part, and felt it did reinvigorate the show.

            Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:34 PM PDT  
          • @Templar: Maybe you don’t, but many other people do. You know? The masses who don’t go to the internet to speak out with their thoughts.

            You really don’t understand group psychology, don’t you? Heck, just look at naive ol’ Ben’s comment below you as an example!

            Comment by Cup of Joe – August 17, 2011 06:52 PM PDT  
          • Cup of Joe, unfortunately you are the naive on. The masses who don’t go on the internet are the ones who like the judges, in my experience. I haven’t found a single person ‘out there’ OTHER than people ont he internet who have had a bad word to say about the judges. Not one. Everyone to a man has talked about how much mroe they enjoyed the show this year. I know lots of people who came back to watching it, in fact, who had previously tuned out.

            Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 07:09 PM PDT  
          • Ben, I’d love to believe you, but your spelling makes me think you are some third grader. And you didn’t read my comment carefully, did you? I was saying that the ones who give consideration to what the judges say ARE mostly those masses who don’t go to the internet forums.

            Maybe they enjoyed the show because of the talent, not those useless figureheads you call the judges. And maybe those people you talked to didn’t have the pair to call them out on their antics. Thought about that?

            Comment by Cup of Joe – August 17, 2011 07:29 PM PDT  
          • Cup of Joe, you just go on your merry way, being opinionated and insulting people you don’t know at all. That must be fun for you.

            However, I must point out that you are the one that isn’t reading comments at all. At what point did you come to think I agreed with Templar that the judges don’t influence voting? I agree with you that they do. And they do, because people LIKE them.

            Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 09:58 PM PDT  
        • what part of “honest feedback” do you not understand?? These people are being paid tens of millions of dollars to do nothing but bash and pimp contestants based on a producers preferences, they are not being JUDGES in any sense of the word. If you have no problem watching this nonsense then that isn’t something you should be bragging about. Talk about being a sheep!

          Comment by Lily – August 17, 2011 11:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • As originally stated, they do their job choosing the top 24. From then on it’s up to the voters.

            Comment by Templar – August 17, 2011 01:49 PM PDT  
        • I do agree with Templar, I don’t need the judges to tell me who to vote for, I never did. I do enjoy their critiques even when they are stupid, thats part of the show. I know Michael is mad at Jennifer for the Haley hate, but I thought she was good and warm like Paula and now the men can really flirt with her!! I loved Steven just for the way he said things and he was funny. I like Randy and his rambling cracks me up besides for me, for you is catching!!

          Comment by Lana – August 17, 2011 05:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Let me get this straight, Lana. So you find it a great deal for being a judge that J.Lo will get flirted on and that Randy rambles with his tired catchphrases?

            Dang woman! You really need to get out more.

            Comment by Cup of Joe – August 17, 2011 06:49 PM PDT  
          • in past seasons, I would fast forward through Randy and Paula (and Ellen and Kara) and just listen to Simon. I didn’t always agree with him, but I could always understand his commentary and he seemed to take his role somewhat seriously. Last Season I found myself speeding through the performances half the time, because Jimmy Ivone(sp?) evened out and crushed the highs, and the lows were awful, not even good in a car-crash way most of the time. The I wound up speeding through the blather coming from the judges mouth as well. By the end, I think I was only watching enough of the show to get context to enjoy Slezak’s hilarious reviews.

            Comment by Edward – August 17, 2011 08:28 PM PDT  
        • You really call their crap their “best work and (fulfilling) their ‘judging’ obligation before the public gets the chance to vote?” What the heck are you high on, guy?

          FYI, whether you know it or not and I assume you don’t, what the judges say DO have sway to the mass of viewers. Case in point: Simon. And how do you think underachievers like Jacob and Stefano went further than they deserved?

          Templar, you are one insufferable, delusional, naive wanker.

          *Bow*

          Comment by Cup of Joe – August 17, 2011 06:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Pathetic riposte, but full marks for effort.

            Comment by Templar – August 18, 2011 06:07 AM PDT  
          • Awww, that’s all, guy? Kind of a case of pot calling the kettle black, no?

            Comment by Cup of Joe – August 18, 2011 08:49 AM PDT  
    • I will continue to watch as I loved season 10 winners. I am hoping Lopez will be more honest in her remarks and not try and sugar coat. Tyler needs a lesson in music vocabulary. Please no more F bombs from Tyler and no more Lady Gag Gag mentors. A lot of families watch this together & we don’t need another program with shock value.

      Comment by Grammie B – August 18, 2011 10:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Lady Gaga as a mentor had more to say and was more articulate than all 3 “judges” this year combined. She actually gave them advice that worked and didn’t sugar coat anything. I don’t find her offensive for families in that context–she can be very sweet at times. I do think her stage show is for an older audience, but you don’t have to make your kids watch it.

        JLo was great until about week 11…what happened? She all of the sudden started praising everyone but Haley. I’m sure it was producer manipulation, but we’d much prefer them to give comments and creative criticism to see the contestants grow, than to pander them and say only gushy good things…

        Comment by Stephanie – August 19, 2011 11:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As we learned last year, the judges hardly matter. The packaging of the show, the production values, Seacrest and decent talent are what sells American Idol

    Comment by Eric – August 17, 2011 09:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is good. No matter what you think of her, J.Lo was the only judge worth their salt last season (other than Jimmy “Not Officially a Judge” Iovine). Until the Top 6 or 7 week when the producers appeared to tell all of the judges to stop actually contributing anything worthwhile (except for with Haley, which made that criticism stand out even more).

    Comment by Tucker – August 17, 2011 09:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And propelled Haley a lot further. Was that the point? It’s not the judges I want to change, it’s Nigel Lythgoe trying to create stories when the show is perfectly capable of telling its own.

      Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yes. No Nigel notes, please. Let the story tell itself– it’s supposed to be REALITY after all, and we viewers are not stupid. We can see what’s actually happening.

        Comment by Brigette – August 17, 2011 06:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Really, that irrelevant, petulant and talentless broad was worth Idol’s salt? Get real!

      And if there was any use for her, it’s to become an object of hate for us viewers. Pass the tomatoes, please!

      Comment by Cup of Joe – August 17, 2011 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The roles were cast early last season. The judges were at their best selecting the lineup. Jimmy L. was then brought in to be the ‘evil’ critical voice. Then the judges became the cheering section as the viewers began voting. Yes, producers steered the storylines, but America voted as they saw fit. – I screamed at the tv during the season because of the judges, but looking back on it now, the formula / format works for me.

      Comment by forrest – August 18, 2011 03:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved this panel until we got into the finals–top 12 or whatever. When it turned into “Let’s only criticize certain people.” I was glad when Simon left because he was so obviously burned out, but I miss the fact that he didn’t care if the audience booed him. This group does care, and this year it led to them giving some singers a free pass (not Haley, though). I don’t think it affects the voting when they do that, but it’s annoying as hell to watch.

    Comment by Christine S. – August 17, 2011 10:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If they had given Haley a free pass, she would have gone home. Which way do you prefer it?

      Unfortunately, as Simon showed, it DOES affect the voting, and thats why they do take certain approaches with certain people. I wish everybody was smart enough to stand their votes purely on musical ability of the contestants, but last year proved that wrong on so many occasions and levels (see: Jacob’s ‘look in the mirror’ comment).

      Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nothing about American Idol is a good thing. Unless it’s a “final season” announcement.

    Comment by Cmwhitley – August 17, 2011 10:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If that’s what you think, why are you posting here?

      Comment by Squiggy – August 17, 2011 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Huh. Good point.

        Comment by cmwhitley – August 17, 2011 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael, where’s the “all of the above” button?

    Comment by cjinsd – August 17, 2011 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The real question is: does anyone still care? This has lacked that great TV quality from day one, hasn’t revelaed one single “idol” in all these years and the formula is completely worn out. Why the hell keep it??

    Comment by godzilla_foil – August 17, 2011 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, let’s see. Carrie Underwood made $13+ million last year. Scotty McCreery’s single just went gold, and Adam had a mostly sold out world tour. Projections for Scotty’s full length CD, [out in Oct.] are through the roof and Adam’s 2nd. CD is getting a lot of press. My humble suggestion is that you make that popping noise and get your head out of your arse.

      Comment by Templar – August 17, 2011 11:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Let’s not forget Jennifer Hudson winning the Oscar, and Katherine McPhee staring in Stephen Spielberg’s “Smash” this February.

        Idol has done it’s share of giving a shot to people who otherwise would just audition for the rest of their lives. True, it should have made more stars, but you never know what anyone will like. You never even know, someday a 16-year-old boy with a voice deeper than any ocean will take first place! ;)

        Comment by Stephanie – August 19, 2011 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ryan can keep the natural hair, but the rest need some MAJOR schooling in being a worthwhile judge. Jimmy needs to be added to that panel. I wouldn’t mind a rotating guest judge seat again, as long as the judges are interesting, like many of the ones were on SYTYCD this season (minus Katie Holmes).

    Comment by brandy – August 17, 2011 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am laughing at this news because once X-Factor debuts, American Idol will be a moot point.

    Comment by scorpo – August 17, 2011 10:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • X Factor is a fall show and will be done before Idol starts. They aren’t in competition.

      Comment by Squiggy – August 17, 2011 11:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • If X Factor delivers what Simon promises and at the same time American Idol will continue on the path it chose last season, with the judges heaping praise on everyone whether they deserved it or not (with the exception of a lone contestant they will want off the show), people will stop watching Idol.

        Comment by Dasha – August 17, 2011 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Doubtful. Have you looked at the crap the networks are planning to show? Idol will do just fine.

          Comment by Squiggy – August 17, 2011 01:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Having seen Australian and British versions of X Factor, I highly doubt this. The format is lame next to Idol’s. I don’t think Cowell and Abdul will be sufficient to eclipse Idol’s ratings, I predict viewership will be more in line with the Voice than Idol.

      Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Really? Having watched the British X-Factor for the last few years, it is head and shoulders above idol with regards to format. I still watch both shows, but the best thing about X-Factor is that it gets the judges in a hands-on position with the contestants, and that there are failsafes to prevent absolute shocker eliminations.

        Comment by William – August 17, 2011 07:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • From my experience, you are in the minority. Shows that pit judges against each other, and provide more ability for the judges to intefere in voting, in my experience get worse ratings. You really think Idol’s ratings suffer for having shock eliminations? They go up!

          Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 10:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just want to see this HORRID show off the air but would settle for simply getting rid of the homophobic Ryan Seacrest. WHY is he still a thing? THE WORST reality TV host (HOSE?!) ever!!!!!!!!!!! Why does this show feel the need to “straighten up” the contestants? We heard about villainous, Danny Goeke’s dead wife and saw Kris Allen playfully making a cutesie dinner with his wife in every episode while other contestants are forced to take down their Face Book, My Space, etc. pages on which they refer to themselves as gay or lesbian?? Clearly, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken were gay but could NEVER, EVER mention this.

    Comment by ChicagoJoe – August 17, 2011 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree that the show as a whole is homophobic. But why land on Ryan Seacrest in particular? Did I miss something?

      (It is, of course, very possible that I missed something.)

      Comment by aunt_deen – August 17, 2011 11:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The only change that mattered was tossing Randy. Since that’s not happening, it’ll still be a hot mess.

    Comment by jw – August 17, 2011 10:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • how about making it a better show… it’s getting really stale

    Comment by Mathis – August 17, 2011 10:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The problem is that the list of things they should do to improve the show is the same as it has been for several years. Mega-voting, bad judging, lame song choices…they’ll all be back this season.

    Comment by racbec – August 17, 2011 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would love it if the judges all stop using the Idol results show to pimp their new music. It’s too bad that AI doesn’t follow the lead of SYTYCD and actually keep things moving… No, let’s just put on three nights of bloated “semi-entertainment” and keep milking the cash cow…

    I disagree with scorpo above, but only because it is when “The Voice” debuts that AI will become moot. I don’t see The X Factor living up to expectations!

    Comment by Just A Thought – August 17, 2011 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ugh, I personally hated The Voice. It was too quick to vote people off and how can you know who you like after one or two songs, plus the background dancers were horrifically distracting and unnecessary, and don’t even get me started on the boxing ring matches…I watched because I felt I needed to see it though and give it a chance, but I won’t be watching if they have a Season 2.

      Comment by Stephanie – August 19, 2011 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d love to see the judges attempt to maintain SOME level of objectivity. If they’re there to critique the individual performances, how is it fair when they’re naming favorite and picking who they think will win weeks in advance? Why should we trust what they say about one contestant’s performance when they’ve already thrown in their vote for someone else? It’s ridiculous.

    Comment by Kate – August 17, 2011 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One change I’d like to see next season is for Kristin Baldwin to join Idoloonies. ’nuff said.

    Comment by Michael Sacal – August 17, 2011 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • THIS! Make it happen, Slezak!

      Comment by mars – August 17, 2011 01:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Changes-Randy, JLo and Steven gone and real judges with real critiques there instead.

    Comment by Deb – August 17, 2011 11:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gah…Randy, why? He’s been useless since day 1. Why they keep him around is the biggest AI mystery. I keep waiting for them to finally cut the dead weight loose, but they never will, and with The Voice (love!) and X-Factor, I think I no longer have the need for an Idol fix.

    Comment by DotDotDot – August 17, 2011 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love it how skipped Randy altogether in your assessment of “occasionally terrific”. Yep, there wasn’t even one shining moment with him.

    I will watch the next season if I happen to be home, of if the show manages to pull a Cook/Archuleta or Lambert/Allen combo that gets me hooked. But I won’t be recording or burning DVDs like a couple years ago, because who would really want to re-watch whole episodes from the last two seasons?

    Comment by Emma – August 17, 2011 12:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hell, if all the seasons suddenly became available on DVD, season 10 would fall within my first 3 purchases at least.

      Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Amen. One of these days I’m going to hunt for S10 on eBay or something. You know someone’s put them all on DVD…

        Comment by Brigette – August 17, 2011 06:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Didn’t love last season, and with new (and better) options available, I may skip this season and watch The Voice instead.

    Comment by Manuel – August 17, 2011 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Randy’s shining moment – “For me for you, for me for you, it was a little pitchy Dawg” UGH!!!!!!!! Why, Why, WHY!!!!

    Comment by Rick – August 17, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “What changes do you want to see?”…

    How about…actually judging the contestants in an effective manner?

    Comment by JohnDoe – August 17, 2011 12:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What changes do you want to see?

    Cancellation.

    Comment by TC – August 17, 2011 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just want to say that last year was the first year that I ever watched Idol all the way through!! I loved it and I loved the judges, but I have to ask a question regarding this article. Is Jennifer Lopez for sure coming back? To me, that would be great, but I heard that she wasn’t!! So is it true that she is?

    Comment by Sarah McCauley – August 17, 2011 02:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes Sarah, its confirmed she is, and its great to see someone like you come along and say how much you loved this season because the jaded idoloonies crew really do believe everyone hated them.

      Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The thing I do not like about AI recently, is watch thing judges loose their enthusiasm midway through the season and then try to feign one through the end.

    Comment by Philip Tallahassee – August 17, 2011 02:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I voted for Tyler to be more useful in the live shows. I do think criticism that they backed off towards the end of the season was honest, and I think it was very hard for Stephen and JLo to criticise in such a talented season first up. But, you have to give people time to settle – I think its a shame Ellen was off after one season too because I do think it takes a wee while before judges get to the point they are willing to be critical about minor niggles (or just a singer being below par).

    Randy and JLo both gave a number of accurate criticisms. Stephen was the weaker in my view, he needs to toughen up a little (he can still be sweet and honest at the same time).

    Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ellen was an awful trainwreck on the show. Her jokes seemed planned, Meybe because she had to wait for that fat guy on her right to stop talking but they were mostly bad jokes anyway. And with no musical experience or clout it was really a joke. KAra was actually much better and she really shined on the songwriting show.

      Comment by Jason – August 17, 2011 09:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree she was a wreck… but, as I say, it was only one season, and the real wreck came fromt he fact she wasn’t ready to criticise yet. That is the aspect of judging that takes time to develop.

        Comment by Ben – August 17, 2011 10:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Didn’t she decide on her own not to come back?

      Comment by Stephanie – August 19, 2011 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What changes would I like to see?
    A completely different set of judges would be nice!

    Comment by Petra – August 17, 2011 02:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Who cares. I would like to see this show go away for good.

    Comment by L – August 17, 2011 04:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • cancel the show..people who can’t sing “Judging” (yeah right) people people who can’t sing…boring.

    Comment by jonny – August 17, 2011 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope they keep up with the quality over fluff entertainment that we actually started to see last season. I loved that the auditions were almost all good people with interesting stories instead of a bunch of William Hungs, and I liked that the finale felt more like the Grammys than a variety show as it has in years past. So keep this up; stop product placement, cheesy self-promotion, and having guest singers who are NOT artists who just embarrass themselves next to those talented kids. And of course, have actual critiques, don’t pick favorites, don’t try to script reality.

    Comment by Brigette – August 17, 2011 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d like to see them go back to the old format where the singers actually had to sing in the genre. Watching a show that doesn’t push its contestants is boring. It’s also not fair to former contestants who did have to sing in the different styles. I’d like some new themes but I don’t want singers to avoid the challenge. What would SYTYCD be if the dancers only danced their specialty? Their efforts to master new forms of dance is a large part of the charm of the show. I wanted to hear Scotty sing something other than country. I knew going in he could do that.

    Comment by Chris – August 17, 2011 09:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m not sure your idea has merit. Most singers find their niche and stick with it. You wouldn’t expect Usher to sing operettas or Frank Sinatra to perform heavy metal. That would be like expecting Fred Astaire to dance ballet. If the judges want the singers to show who they are, why would they push them to be what they are not?

      Comment by Templar – August 18, 2011 06:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I loved hearing David Cook sing Phantom – and seeing what he did with Maria Cary and Neil Diamond weeks. Adam’s Ring of Fire, Kris’s disco (She Works Hard for the Money), Allison and Danny’s rat pack were unexpected delights we would never have heard had they not been forced to sing in a foreign Genre (Someone to Watch over me & Rain or Shine). Yes there were some disasters as well, but no guts, no glory – and what better way to separate the men from the boys? If we look back – contestants BEST weeks were when they were singing out of genre.

      As stupid as the theme weeks were, they gave the show a real sense that anything could happen – because necessity IS the supreme mother of invention. I think that’s a big part of why in Season 10 there weren’t many un-expected performances. Everyone was being encouraged to play it safe. Yawn.

      Some will argue that “not everyone is as musically talented as Kris, or David Cook – not everyone can turn a song around to fit their style. So then the question becomes do we want a great show and a wonderful musician as a winner, or do we want a potential recording star? They chose – and the price is a far less interesting show.

      Comment by ladyhelix – August 20, 2011 08:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know it would be hard to afford it but I really think they need a fourth judge to be honest. Ryan Murphy would be perfect. Or make Jimmy Iovine part of the judging table.

    Comment by Jason – August 17, 2011 09:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Since Randy Jackson is still on the panel of judges, I will not be watching AI this next season. I cannot stand to listen to RJ’s “blather” one more season. And, if they are available, I just might order a Team X-Factor t-shirt. I look forward to the premier of The X-Factor and return of intelligent, fair, honest and unbiased appraisals and critiques of musical performances.

    Comment by Ron – August 18, 2011 10:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I know, right? I never realized how much I loved Simon until he left. Even if Paula and Nicole aren’t good judges, even if L.A. Reid (that’s his name, right?) aren’t, at least we’ll have Simon. I have hope for Reid though. Nobody could be worse than Randy.

      Comment by Mic – August 20, 2011 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You’re right slezak. We should give this panel a second chance, even if they don’t fully deserve it. I mean Kara Dioguardi improved a little in her second year on that panel. But please for all that’s holy Randy needs to seriously down play his lame catchphrases. I can’t go through season 11 repeatedly hearing say “in it to win it” or “for me for you”. Otherwise randy could be easily replaced by a tape recorder. But what i am still anxious about what will happen that season now that the “kristy lee cook” curse has been completed.

    Comment by JVC – August 19, 2011 02:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The judges need to rotate because their egos get too wrapped up in their early predictions/favorites to remain objective. But since they’ve already signed them for this year I’d suggest a 4th rotating guest judge spot to keep them honest; someone like Neil Patrick Harris, Beyonce, Adam Lambert, Carrie, Daughtry, Lady GaGa, Melinda, Jimmy Iovene, Marc Anthony (“own the stage”), or Christine Chenoweth. Possibilities are endless!!

    And yes – I actually suggested this before SYTYCD aired this summer. But if we’re talking about judges… it’s worth saying again!

    Comment by ladyhelix – August 20, 2011 08:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’d love if the show wasn’t run by a bunch of British people, because they seem to think that all Americans are stupid. I know when you’re pimping contestants, Nigel! …Just sayin’.

    I don’t mean that in a racist way, but I honestly think that the production thinks we’re all ignorant and dumb.

    Comment by Mic – August 20, 2011 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Put Nigel in a small rowboat off Nantucket and set him adrift, let the current take him back to England, throw in slave boy Randy for someone to row…he’ll do whatever Nigel says. That’s step one in improving the show.

    Comment by buzz – August 20, 2011 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Isn’t there a case for the the judges not to be allowed to see the dress rehearsals. On many occasions the judge comments could not have been based on the live performance, the only explanation was that it must have been based on the dress. The most notorious example was that not one of the judges seemed to pick up on Durbin singing almost a whole song out of tune, I can only assume that it was a once off and that his dress was immaculate. Surely though, the priority is to change the crazy voting system, far more important than the judges however biased they were last season.

    Comment by ejones – August 21, 2011 03:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think we will see J-Lo the way she was in her (very) good moments ever again. I think at some point mid-season she killed off Jennifer the Honest Judge, because she, being a smart business woman she is, finally realised that there are some things more important than stating your honest opinion. Like reviving your career, being the American sweethart, the fragile emotional princess that tears up in a commercially appealing way (and she sure can fake the hell out of them tears), getting the title of the most beautiful woman alive and similar garbage, making sure people don’t figure out what a cutthroat b…. you really are etc. (I would actually love the b…., J-Lo, why can’t she just let yourself be?) Loads of things more important than being a good, fair judge. And then Nigel, her boss, came and said it was actually ok to rather be a fake princess than a competent woman who says what she believes. Not only is it good for her career, it is also good for the Greater goal: to get a young person with the most commercial appeal that has no experience and that they can control completely and shape as they like to win the show. Jennifer the Honest Judge is barried, gone, gone like the freight train, byebye. That’s my opinion. I mean she might squeeze out some critisism at some point I guess. But overall I’m not very hopeful.

    Randy is a joke and will stay a joke. The worst judge, the worst vocabulary, the worst personality, no charisma, WHAT DOES HE HAVE ON IDOL CREATORS FOR THEM TO HAVE HIM STAY? There is no reality TV logic to keep him on. NONE

    Steven is going to be great in the audition round cause he’s compasionate and loves music, but when the more brutal part of the selection process starts, he’ll fall asleep, I think it’s his defence mechanism. But although I wish he was more aware of what’s going on in the competition, I can’t wait for his pile of inappropriate comments for the next season. Hey, I found something positive.

    Overall Mr. Slezak, I am not sure I believe the optimism you declared in your short article. I am definitely going for resignation. I really did not want this and I don’t think you did either. But next year this will still be your job and I will still suffer from the highly uncurable Idol-obsession. Because I like that moment when I hear a great new voice and because I love Idoloonies I’ll be watching in case maybe good happens in the show afterall. But my expectations are at a historical lowpoint so I won’t be holding my breath.

    Comment by monztr – August 23, 2011 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Dang I wrote a lot :)

      Comment by monztr – August 23, 2011 03:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Changes I’d like to see:

    1. Stop playing favorites. Make it a level playing field for all contestants.
    2. Less idiotic rambling from Randy. Make your point and movie on.
    3. Don’t let Steven go on auto-pilot.

    Comment by Lee – September 17, 2011 04:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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