Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson have yet to finalize deals to return as judges for American Idol‘s upcoming twelfth season, and now it looks as though the show might be looking for a home-grown talent to replace Tweddle-Huh?, Tweedle-Abs, or Tweedle-Yo!
Indeed, Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert has been in talks with the show’s producers about the gig for the last month, according to an E! News report.
Even though, as an Idol recapper, the addition of Lambert would give me one less person to gleefully ridicule/rage against, I still think it’s a pretty genius idea. And here are four reasons why:
HE’S BRASH | Anyone who’s ever read an interview with Lambert or followed him on Twitter knows he’s not afraid to speak his mind. More often than not, in fact, the guy seems to revel in being a provocateur, even when it comes to discussing his musical contemporaries. That fearless, polarizing energy has been conspicuously absent from the Idol panel since Simon Cowell left the show after Season 9, replaced by critiques that are so intentionally vague and/or syrupy that it’s hard to resist the siren call of the mute button. Love him or hate him, it’s unlikely Lambert’s contributions as an Idol judge would be sanitized or boring — and those new tricks might be exactly what the old dog in the reality singing genre needs to combat viewer erosion.
HE’S KNOWLEDGEABLE | Lambert’s monster voice is one of the most formidable in the current pop scene, and unlike, say, J.Lo: Mistress of Auto-Tune, he’s got the technical knowledge to offer instructive, insightful critiques that go beyond telling contestants they were “pitchy.” What’s more, the guy has undeniable showmanship skills, and as an Idol contestant, his choice of songs, outfits, and musical arrangements were among the most varied and daring in Idol history. Honestly, who better to push the Season 12 contestants to color outside the lines and push their creative limits?
HE’S FUNNY | Judging a live talent competition is a tough gig — just ask Nicole Scherzywhatzit or Ellen DeGeneres — but Lambert is well known for his quick wit, puckish demeanor, and outsize charisma. Plus, with his fabulous hair and penchant for outré fashion, he might even give J.Lo a run for her Louboutins. His mastery of the English language, while clearly not a prerequisite for the gig, won’t hurt either, for me for you.
HE’S GAY | Okay, okay, so Lambert’s sexual orientation isn’t actually a job qualification, but perhaps his weekly presence on the show would finally squelch the sense of gay panic — the occasional homophobic banter among the judges and host Ryan Seacrest; the bizarre resistance to ever mentioning personal lives of contestants who are clearly gay or lesbian — that’s pervaded Idol for 11 seasons running.
What do you think of the idea of Lambert as Idol judge? Would his presence on the panel make you more or less likely to tune in? And if he’s being brought in as a replacement, which of the existing judges would you like to see exit? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!