Steven Tyler Announces His American Idol Exit: Five Characteristics His Replacement Must Have

Steven Tyler Quits American IdolIn a move certain to delight fans of eloquent, carefully considered critique, but likely to shatter admirers of the adjective “beautiful,” Steven Tyler has announced his decision to exit the American Idol judges’ table.

Tyler’s announcement comes the same day that Jennifer Lopez hinted at her own Idol exit, during an appearance on NBC’s Today.

Tyler’s statement, as cheekily phrased and punctuated as it is, reads as follows:

After some long…hard…thoughts… I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit. I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back – but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band. The next few years are going to be dedicated to kicking some serious ass – the ultimate in auditory takeover.

On Nov. 6, we are unleashing our new album, Music from Another Dimension on the Earth, Moon, Mars, and way beyond the stars.

Idol was over-the-top fun, and I loved every minute of it. Now it’s time to bring Rock Back. ERMAHGERD.

As an Idol fan who’s desperately missed Simon Cowell’s bracing unwillingness to sugarcoat his feedback when a performance is dreadful, or even Kara DioGuardi’s Season 9 penchant for trying to provide some actionable advice to wayward contestants, Tyler’s departure is fantastic news. Sure, he stumbled into a couple of chuckles during the audition rounds, but so did Gen. Larry Platt. And once the pressure of the live voting rounds began, Tyler could no longer hide his lack of insight — or, perhaps, his lack of interest in offering insight — under the cover of Nigel Lythgoe’s helpful editing. As such, Tyler’s exit should be viewed by Fox brass as a chance to invigorate the Idol judges’ panel with a person (or three) who won’t prompt audiences to heed the siren call of the ‘Mute’ button — or even worse, fast-forward the network’s main ratings juggernaut into a 20-minute viewing experience.

As the search for a replacement begins, here are five must-have characteristics that any applicant should be required to have:

HONESTY | The Idol audience isn’t stupid, nor is it deaf. Hearing the judges tell Season 10’s Jacob Lusk, for example, that he was “emotionally perfect” after using a butter knife to remove yet another a song’s vital organs made for a terrible viewing experience. Here’s hoping for a Season 12 panel that doesn’t leave viewers asking: “Is there something wrong with my audio feed? My ears? Or is there some strange reason these foolios are lie-telling?” Sometimes, brutal honesty is merely killing a delusion, not a dream.

INTEGRITY | We all know Uncle Nigel and His Evil Genius Minions have their agendas, and too often over the last few Idol seasons, the judges have felt less like invested observers/shapers of the proceedings, and more like mouthpieces for whatever demographically approved outcome the powers-that-be wanted to have. (Exhibit A: The repeated evisceration of Haley Reinhart.) Tyler’s replacement must have the courage of his or her convictions, the willingness to praise the best performances and criticize the worst — regardless of whether or not said performers are among the season’s “chosen” vocalists.

QUICK WIT | Hey, it’s a TV show, and the ability to spontaneously cook up clever critiques and funny asides certainly makes the 120-minute running time go by a little faster. Oh, who am I kidding? I’d settle for anybody with a dozen or more adjectives at his or her disposal. (Insert sound of pessimistic trombone here.)

CREDIBILITY | Some knowledge of music — singing, writing, producing, reviewing — is a must, including golden oldies, current hits, and everything in between. (Side note: A soothing woman’s voice just whispered into my subconscious, “the hits of the ’80s, ’90s, and today.” Close, chica, but no cigar.) And what’s more, if Idol band leader Ray Chew continues his trend of Tweeting each week’s set list several hours before the live show, then there’s no excuse for a judge ever again to utter the words “I don’t know that song.” Methinks anyone who lands the gig can afford $1.29 for an iTunes download.

A GENUINE INTEREST IN THE CONTESTANTS/THE OUTCOME/THE LONG-TERM HEALTH OF THE FRANCHISE | An Idol judging position shouldn’t merely be a forum to shill clothing/music/movies/fragrances/shiny objects. When the judges are clearly invested in the process, it makes everything — the contestants, the broadcast, sometimes even the voting —  better.

And while we’re at it, here are three traits Tyler’s replacement need not be:

MALE | Is there a judging panel on TV — aside from Project Runway‘s — where lady judges outnumber dudes? Given Idol‘s difficulties in crowning a female winner the last five seasons, maybe an estrogen shot to the panel is just what the doctor ordered. Just please, no tired, mired-in-a-past-era sense that two women can’t get along, okay?

A TWEEN-MARKET FAVORITE | I’m sorry, but I’m still grappling with the idea of Demi Lovato at the X Factor table. There’s only so much this Oldie Olsen can handle in a TV season.

A HOUSEHOLD NAME | Consider the following folks: Linda Perry, Pharrell Williams, Ben Folds, Max Martin, and Sylvia Rhone. They might only be known by a fraction of the audience, but the same could’ve been said about Simon Cowell before Idol launched stateside in 2002. I have no clue if any of these folks would excel in a live TV setting, but it might be worth testing their skill sets. After all, remember that over the course of the five-months-a-year grind that is Idol, the ability to provide insightful, incisive feedback is infinitely more valuable than the ability to land on the cover of Us or Star magazine.

Idoloonies, what’s your reaction to Tyler’s exit? Good riddance to bad come-ons? Or will you miss the unique “flair” that he brought to the table? And let’s start brainstorming replacements in the comments!

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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  1. Kelly says:

    how soon before JLO follows?

    • jdurbs says:


    • Leila says:

      She announced her exit first.

      • The unfortunate part is that this show comes with a learning curve. Steven and Jennifer were pretty brutal their first season, and although I don’t think they were as good as Paula and Simon were in their hay day, I do think they got progressively better with their comments and dynamic.

        I also think Tyler and J.Lo need to acknowledge that American Idol helped them just as much as they helped American Idol. Both of their careers were pretty stalled out and this show really got them back into the limelight. Before AI Lopez didn’t have a really big hit in 5-7 years(maybe longer) and Tyler and Aerosmith were pretty broken up. So here’s hoping that 2 people can come in right away and do a great job. I don’t see that Duets show coming back so maybe one of the 2 new judges is Kelly Clarkson. She’s amazing on such a bad show, I’d think she do a great job, and it would be completely full circle.

        • OmniDragon says:

          Steven Tyler needs a career boost from American Idol about as much as Donald Trump needs food stamps. If anything, he boosted American Idol’s ratings. Don’t think for one second it was the other way around. I’m trying to picture Steven Tyler, rock star for 40 years, standing outside Walmart, with a change bucket, screamin “HALP!! Please HALP meh!! o_o I nocanhaz teh American Idolz anymore…I’m D0000MED!!”

    • Tim says:

      J-Lo’s not leaving. She’s just trying to grab more bucks, a la Paula. I wish they would fire her though.

    • I nominate Bryan (Cranston) Klabunde…he’d be perfect for the show! Oh, I’ll need my own show and a bus token outta here!

    • Tony says:

      My pick: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. Here’s a guy who’s maintained a level of popularity in pop music for over 30 years. He’s personable, funny, and keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s popular. #AmericanIdAL

  2. ceebee says:

    Now if we can get rid of the Dawg (Jackson)…it will be a Clean Sweep!!!

    • ben says:

      A clean sweep is not a good idea. It might sound like a good idea to those who read idol stories on the internet etc, but we are a particular kind of fan, I tihnk there are a lot of more casual fans who would be alienated by the clean sweep – there is no doubt that the show lost a lot ratings wise when Simon left (even though its had two of its most talent-filled seasons) and I think losing Randy could have a similar effect.

      And please, lets NOT get Charlie Sheen.

      • Doniel says:

        Ben, you are not the kind of Idol fan I am used to if you thinking losing Randy Jackson is a bad thing…that is the absolute best thing for the show. We need him out, now.

        • macy says:

          Yes, yes — so true!

        • ben says:

          If you think the absolute best thing for the show is to keep going down in the ratings, fine. I understand fans on here want higher quality judging. I’m just not convinced higher quality judgin (what might satisfy us) is actually what is going to be best for the show. I’d rather have ten more seasons with Randy than only 2 more seasons without him.

          • Gorm says:

            Seacrest is the face and spirt of the show. Randy jackson is the boatanchor that exists only to service the character of “the Dawg”. Fear is not a valid substitute for talent. Imagine how good the show could be without the judges mugging for the camera and pushing their own catchphrases. Imagine them not agreeing to mock the mentally ill contestants and not agreeing to go on “wacky shennanigans” with every contestant with a thick African/Asian accent.

            In summary ben, your low standards are something to be a bit ashamed of. You, and the show can both do better.

          • Trust me Randy being gone… would probably make a lot of viewers who tuned out tune back in… happy they wouldn’t hear DAWG, PITCHY and whatever stupid ass thing he came up for that season.

          • nodak says:

            And we also won’t miss the endless name dropping!!!

        • oktams says:


      • Stacey says:

        Actually the ratings stayed the same, and even improved with the addition of Jennifer and Steven. At least the first year. The ratings fell this year, but in comparison to the increases…it was only natural. I do agree, Randy won’t be leaving. They won’t want three new judges. He will be needed for experience. And to look at this will the eye of experience, even if he did wonder too much away from being criticial. Wonder if they will bring in new people who will have the demand to be tough love. A lot critcism came when the judge table lost their brand of toughness, and was cheerleaders.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Um yeah Randy absolutely WAS that bad. Actually, on second thought, you are correct. He wasn’t that bad. He was worse! If there is any judge who 100% absolutely has to leave it’s Randy. Steven at least occasionally went against producer’s grain near the end (see Haley or perhaps even when he said to Elise and the show in general, on second thought, WTH who cares if it’s known, etc. you gotta do what you gotta do), so I actually think he was the best of the three judges. Randy just has less than zero credibility at this point. The last two seasons just totally, utterly did him and the show in. He is NOT the core they need. He was the ultimate puppet, either that, or the dude has just totally, utterly lost it.

          If he stays it will be very hard to remotely believe that anything will be changing at all.

      • Ron says:

        One down, two to go! All three must go, especially Jackson.

        • elr says:

          Hear! Hear! I won’t watch again until Jackson is gone. Why does the judging panel need experience? What they need is the ability to stand up to Nigel and speak their minds.

    • Leila says:

      Randy Jackson HAS to leave. The fact that both J.Lo and Tyler are leaving now will give the producers the perfect excuse to bid adieu to the most inarticulate judge ever.

      • Stacey says:

        Randy wasn’t that bad. He will be needed to be the experience judge. They won’t want three new judges. BUT, I think they need to make sure the judge table even with Randy gets tough again. Look at the buzz around X Factor, heck X Factor just released a ad of Britney getting snarky with the contestants. They need to get replacements who don’t mind saying NO, saying it’s awful but not as heartless as Simon sometimes was. A lot of issues with Idol came with the loss of the harsh judgements. Some of those performances Phil gave this year might not have made it if the judges had been honest. Even with the awareness of his medical issues. Phil might not have won, if not given free passes…and soft pedaled criticism.

        • Ron says:

          They absolutely need three new judges. AND, Phillip Phillips should not have won this past season for the simple reason he had some really BAD performances that, not only, did not get criticized properly, but was actually praised for being “true to himself”, and being “different”.

          • Templar says:

            Someone needs to pound it into their heads that the voting policy is what’s killing the show.

        • Sha says:

          I agree. Every contestant should get their due criticism. As much as I loved him, Joshua did not get constructive criticism most of the time and Phillip DEFINITELY was never called out on his flaws by the judges. Poor Jessica got the muted feedback and critique more than them both combined.

          • Dorn says:

            I agree. Jessica’s comments were not fair compared to PP or Josh. No hate to PP, but when he would sit there and just play his guitar, JLo would just go crazy. And when Jessica preformed, she told her that she needed to me more. Not fair. And also, I do think the voting system NEEDS to be changed. If it limited one vote per person, I think the outcome would be different for Jessica. And maybe Haley from a couple seasons back (hopefully).

        • Gorm says:

          You’ve failed to make a persuasive arguement for keeping Randy beyond “Durr, but heez been there soo long guyz!” Feel free to try again, but you’ve failed to sway anyone to your way of thinking.

        • FreeHaley says:

          Um yeah Randy absolutely WAS that bad. Actually, on second thought, you are correct. He wasn’t that bad. He was worse! Far worse. If there is any judge who 100% absolutely has to leave it’s Randy. Steven at least occasionally went against producer’s grain near the end (see Haley or perhaps even when he said to Elise and the show in general, on second thought, WTH who cares if it’s known, etc. you gotta do what you gotta do), so I actually think he was the best of the three judges. Randy just has less than zero credibility at this point. The last two seasons just totally, utterly did him and the show in. He is NOT the core they need. He was the ultimate puppet, either that, or the dude has just totally, utterly lost it.

          If he stays it will be very hard to remotely believe that anything will be changing at all.

      • Sally in Chicago says:

        Jennifer has not confirmed that she’s leaving. She’s still trying to decide. I would hate to see Randy leave. He’s like an old shoe to me.

      • oktams says:

        LEILA….You need to research Randy’s professional background. Its pretty amazing!

        • FreeHaley says:

          Yeah and what the heck does that matter when he has either:
          1. totally sold out his soul
          2. just simply totally lost it

          in either case it doesn’t a whit his impressive past

    • TheBeach says:

      They will have to drag Jackson out while he’s holding on to the judges’ table by his fingernails, but I would be more than happy to hold the door.

    • Danielle says:

      Actually, Randy said he’s not a fan of all of the big changes coming to Idol. They will have a new way of doing things. He said it won’t be the same Idol he’s known for the past 11 years so he’s exiting also.

    • Sara says:

      Yes please. I’d rather see Randy gone than J.Lo or Steven. He’s just become a novelty judge in my opinion. Never liked him from day one. My mom and I skip over what he has to say.

  3. TV Gord says:

    They should hire Jamie Farr and call it AfterI*D*O*L.

    • oktams says:


  4. He didn’t even say his time on the show was “beautiful”. What a disappointing press release. *sarcastic sigh*

  5. V says:

    Good riddance. This show should have been cancelled years ago. The judges suck and so do all the Idol winners.

    • John Berggren says:

      …because way back in season 1, American Idol killed your puppy? … or did they Clockwork Orange you in front of the show for 11 years and force you to rotate the winners on your iPod?

      Oh that’s right – you do have 200 other channels and EVERY OTHER ALBUM to choose from.

  6. JO! says:

    Maybe Kelly Clarkson should judge. Original Idol, great opportunity to showcase new music, actual singer.

  7. Stacey says:

    He is the one I wanted to stay. Randy has experience, but Steven was funny. Jennifer was useless. Makes me wonder what direction they will go. Younger? Like X Factor did, and I could see them bringing in a country judge. Since the country direction Idol has drifted towards… LeAnn Rimes wanted the X Factor job. They will have to bring people from the business. The oulandish rumors of Charlie Sheen is stupid. I wanted Steven to stay. Makes me wonder where they will go next, to get judges. But it does make me think Randy will stay to be the stable hand of experience. They won’t want all three new judges… I still think Jennifer is history!

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      I think if Jlo leaves, which is a big possibility, they will bring back Paula.

      • Stacey says:

        Paula left due to money issues, and it was her own decision. I can’t see her going back to Idol. Even after the debacle of X Factor. And she wouldn’t be any better. She was never one to really crticized. I think they will need someone completely different!

      • Pablo says:

        I may be in the minority, but I’d love to see Paula come back. I actually thought she was an awesome judge on the X Factor (a la Paula Seasons 1-3 of Idol), and I’d like to see her return.

        • grace2552 says:

          I’m right there in the minority with ya! I think every panel should have a Paula. If they can drum up two eloquent and appropriately critical judges, why not throw a lovable psychopath in there for good measure? And if we’re going for some degree of continuity, I’d much rather bring back Paula than be forced to endure another second of Randy Jackson’s particularly odious brand of idiocy.

      • John Berggren says:

        I love Paula more than anybody, but after “Live to Dance” and “X-factor”, they will likely have no love for bringing her back. I put a billion to one odds on a Paula return.

  8. John Berggren says:

    Adam Lambert FTW.

    • TV Gord says:

      And Sanjaya and William Hung!

    • Sandi says:

      Good news. Jennifer can follow. I’m no Randy fan but at least he brings some nostalgia for the glory days of the original judges panel.

      I would LOVE to see Adam Lambert take his place. And if J.Lo goes (and I hope she does) – Kelly Clarkson!

    • Ally says:

      I would definitely start watching Idol again if Adam Lambert became a judge. Or Kelly Clarkson. Or another Idol alum. I’d also like to see a country singer on the judging panel.

    • Maga says:

      Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Ben Folds

  9. Linda says:

    Can the show finally go off the air then?

    • John Berggren says:

      Why? How is it hurting you to stay?

    • Sally in Chicago says:

      Why should the show go off the air? It’s good entertainment, it’s controversial, it makes stars. No, keep AI on.

      • Kiki says:

        It’s a train wreck and has not produced a 1st place finisher who’s achieveD actual “idol” status since Carrie. It’s actually better, at this point, to go on Idol and lose – i.e. Chris Daughtry, Kellie PIckler

  10. trannypants says:

    Can I have Marilyn Manson, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, please?

  11. Zara says:

    I would seriously question whether artists make the best judges. They’re too worried about 1. hurting the contestants’ feelings, and 2. damaging their likeability factor. Plus being inside art isn’t the same as viewing it from the outside. I think these are reasons Simon was a good judge: didn’t care about anyone\’s feelings, image was _built_ on snarkiness, and he was a good critic. These things in mind, I vote Slezak for new Idol judge!

    • sg54 says:

      thank you! someone finally mentioned that maybe SLEZAK should be a new judge! He’s not a household name or a tween favorite, so why not? He’s a great critic, but he would also bring a funny and witty personality. he would be critical, but definitely not evil. i would love to seem him try. or at least replace stupid Iovine. Slezak said he would do it for free!

      • Zara says:

        Plus he’s cute.

      • ben says:

        Why would he? Trust me, the moment Michael became a judge, half of the TVLine people (and many many many more who don’t visit TVLine) would turn on him just as they do with every judge who is ever on. I’d rather he stayed here.

  12. Leila says:

    He probably decided to leave after J.Lo. He didn’t want to sit with some loser judge panel…

  13. Linda says:

    OH NO!!!! He was the best…I absolutely love this guy…I think Idol is on its way out.

  14. Artemis says:


    Nice one, Tyler.

  15. Linda says:

    No Charlie Sheen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Angela says:

      Amen. Enough of that guy already, please.
      Anywho, so…two seasons and he’s done. Okay, then. Wholeheartedly agreed on the list of requirements, especially the “credibility” one (someone who really knows their music history, YES, please!) and “male” ones. Especially the part about how we don’t need to have female judges not getting along and acting catty or other BS like that. As for Randy, I’m in the middle-him still hanging around is the lone tie-in to the show’s history-he’s been there long enough, he knows the drill, all that sort of thing. At the same time, maybe a complete overhaul would be a good idea.
      Here’s hoping whomever they find fits the bill properly and brings back some spark to the show.

  16. connie says:

    I am actually glad Steven and possibly JLo are leaving. I didnt then they were the best judges. They were rarely honest. I never knew what the Steven was actually saying half the time. IMO Kelly Clarkson or Adam Lambert would be best. Mainly because they have been there. And really know what the contestants have gone through.

  17. They should clean house and go in a new direction. Replace Ryan Seacrest with Chuck Barris then make Jaye P Morgan, Jamie Farr & Rip Taylor the new judges. RATINGS BOOM.

    • John Berggren says:

      Seacrest is probably the show’s greatest asset. Through his E! show(s) and radio shows alone, he bring a ton of free re-promotion to the show.

  18. Sally in Chicago says:

    Sad, because I thought he brought enough funny and controversy. But from what I’ve read, those are long hours. And traveling around the U.S. and then doing the TV show. He probably felt in the short run, it was OK, but the long run he missed the stage.

  19. Dean says:

    I honestly will watch if they get people of the Xfactor and the voice standard a table I would like is Adam Lambert Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus now THIS!!!! I WOULD WATCH

  20. Ethel says:

    Darn hate to see both of them go. I was just beginning to be able to tell the difference between them!

  21. BruceD says:

    The show is dead and has been for a few years. The judges leaving makes no difference. And no matter who they get to try to build the show back up…it’s dead. And further if the rumors about who they’re asking are true…that makes the show even more laughable. Maybe Tyler and JLo just didn’t want to be sitting there with also rans with no legitimacy or experience to judge.

    • John Berggren says:

      I would love to produce such a “dead” show on television. Could somebody get me a show as “dead” as this one?

    • Dorn says:

      It’s a shame you think it’s dead. It’s had some really amazing people on it like Haley Reunhart, Elise Testone, and lat but not least, Jessica Sanchez. I agree that the judges are… A little below standards to say the least, but it’s produced some pretty amazing talent.

  22. Davey says:

    I hope they get rid of all three, hire Ben Folds and two other high profile names.

  23. CJ says:

    Shut. It. Down.

  24. April says:

    Ben Folds is a judge on “The Sing-Off” and does a great job. He is very quirky and really knows his stuff. That being said, there’s no way they would hire him. Love the idea of Adam Lambert. What about moving Jimmy Iovine to the panel?

    • grace2552 says:

      I was just going to say that! Slezak doesn’t know if Ben Folds would excel in a live TV environment? All of us who watched The Sing Off do!

      Though if The Sing Off judges are on the market, we’ve GOT to get us some Shawn Stockman – boy’s got more brains, charisma, genuine enthusiasm for music, and insight into the pop music business than all of the current and past judges of Idol combined.

      • ktbanks says:

        He does have a bit of a point…only the finale of the Sing-Off was actually live. Most of it is pre-taped, since a lot of the college schools wouldn’t be able to participate. The BYU group had to start their classes mid-show one season. However, I still agree with you in thinking he’d be great!

        • SL says:

          This! I think Ben Folds’ name was kicked around as a possible judge back in the day (maybe back when Slezak & co. were at EW. Ben Folds would be an excellent choice. His live shows are evidence of his quick wit :-)

          • Joe says:

            Ben Folds is touring all summer and fall with his original band Ben Folds Five. He’s not going to cancel the tour to do American Idol especially since it’s been a long time since he played with the original guys and they just recorded a new album together. Idol wouldn’t be his scene to be quite honest.

    • Maggie says:

      Even if he would be coming from a taped show setting, ben folds would be a fabulous judge. He’s articulate, super smart about music & isn’t afraid to goof on himself a bit. He was def the tough judge on the sing off, but he understood group dynamics and was able to really make the show about the groups. I hate that we’re even bringing it up bc it means the sing off was cancelled, but I think he would be a great addition to the judging panel

  25. Very well said! Idol has been dull, dull, dull lately due to lackluster judging and obvious manipulation of the whole show to gain ratings.

    • FreeHaley says:

      The over the top manipulation the last two seasons, especially the season before, just made a total mess. It’s lost all credibility.
      It’s a bid odd that Steven is first to go since he is the one who at least occasionally seemed to just say what he wanted and skip the notes (less this season though).

  26. noa says:

    i always say i want you as a judge, Michael. but truth is- i would love it if you replaced Nigel… :) you know what- Idology is more important than Idol to me. so stay where you are.

  27. Kate says:

    Kelly Clarkson would be a great choice! She’s doing a good job on Duets, and I doubt it will be back. I kind of have a hard time seeing her willing to give up all the time to do it though.

  28. Dialle says:

    i absolutely love steven tyler and i wish him the best of luck!

  29. Eric says:

    I vote for a clean sweep. I think that would reinvigorate the process. We need one judge to be able to judge talent almost exclusively. Over that past couple of years, there have been eliminations of quality singers in favor of singers who might provide drama to increase rating (Tatiana Del Toro). Some suggestions: Shania Twain, Neil Patrick Harris (if he isn’t too busy with HIMYM), Sean Combs, someone suggested David Bowie, in the words of Randy Jackson, that would be HOT!

    • TheBeach says:

      I hate feeling pessimistic but I’m afraid that if the show continues to be so manipulated by Uncle Nigel it won’t make a lot of difference who the new judges are. After all, he does sign their paychecks.

  30. Lee says:

    Get Simon on the phone…offer him the following:
    – Double his old salary
    – The ability to stay on XFactor
    – Anything else he wants

    Randy is fine, IF Simon is there.

  31. May says:

    American Idol sucks. It was watchable when Simon was there to tell people their voices “killed every cat in Denver”. After that, it just became plain boring. Seriously, they should give the judging job to someone with real music knowledge. I’m sorry, but J-Lo doesn’t fit the category. Steven Tyler did. Now there are just zero reasons to watch AI.

  32. Scott says:

    Randy is the one that has to be replaced! All he does is name drop and give lousy critiques. Steven was too nice. Time for a change for the panel

  33. Scott says:

    David Bowie would be an awesome replacement. Totally agree!!

  34. amberjj says:

    good. maybe ill start to watch again

  35. JASon says:

    Adam LAmbert, Katy Perry and Coutrney Love!!! Just did your job for you Nigel!!! Now make it happen!!

  36. Jessica says:

    Simon was the best and the show just won’t ever be the same without him holding the reins.

  37. Princess Adora says:

    Wipe the whole slate clean! And I do miss Kara, she got 10x better in season 9, it’s too bad they let her go :S

  38. Danielle H says:

    Ug.. please quit dragging this show out. It’s time for a new era.

  39. ktbanks says:

    Yes to Ben Folds! While on The Sing-Off, he was bar-none the best, most informed judge on all of TV, and reality genre. He’s funny, and REALLY knows his stuff….what more could you ask for?!

  40. Karen says:

    I don’t really have a strong opinion on Mr. Tyler leaving. He never frustrated me too much on the show (dawg), but he also never really had anything constructive either. I would love to see Max Martin, Linda Perry or Pharrel Williams on the panel (and wouldn’t leave out Adam Lambert either – or at least a former succesfull Idol contestant, who know what the contestants go through each week).
    Or if they wanna go the mega-star way (which they undoubtedly will), how about Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys or Pink?

  41. DustyOR says:

    surprised he lasted as long as he did given the ear splitting auditions the panel is subjected to………..UGH!

  42. PutAforkINit says:

    Put a fork in it already. It’s so done. The karaoke gets worse each year. Show ended when Simon left.

  43. Brandon says:

    Ben Folds won’t do Idol. He’s publicly expressed that his opinion that The Sing Off was the only legitimate music competition show and I highly doubt he would he would make the jump to Idol. Though his honesty would be much appreciated and I would certainly welcome him.

  44. Debbie M. says:

    Adam Lambert and Linda Perry would be great judges. Plus, having two gay judges would make conservative Republicans heads explode! It’s a win-win!

  45. Judy says:

    A few years back when they had “real” mentors on the show…and by “real” I mean icons of music with years of success and experience, like Jon Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart and yes..even Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond and Smokey, they knew how to give advice to help the kids. They might be old, but they understand what it takes to make it in the business and what someone has to bring to the able. That’s the kind of judge this show needs. Ben Folds is also a good choice.

    They need people to be honest and NOT tell singers who are off key week after week that they are wonderful. They need to stop playing favorites and try (probably per producer request or label exec request) not to pimp those people up.

    Maybe some honest judges who understand constructive criticism without being overly profusive and slobbery while at the same time not being passive aggressive (I’m looking at YOU Nigel Lythgoe) would bring the show back to where it was a few years ago.

    • Sha says:

      I feel like one of the reasons they’re being nice to everyone is that they want to take credit for any and every success story. Exhibit a: Jennifer Hudson. voted off 7th and Simon wasn’t a fan. Her success has always been associated with the fact that idol never appreciated her.

      • FreeHaley says:

        I think it’s because fill out on the surveys that so and so is mean or that they are too harsh on some but the surveys don’t get the point across that it’s not that people are upset with some criticism it’s that they hate it when they give the most criticism to the best, half the time, and phony up with great praise some disasters.

  46. sg54 says:

    Its sad that so many of you are saying you’ve stopped watching the show, considering last season was absolutely fantastic and filled filled FILLED with talent (jessica sanchez, joshua ledet, hollie cavanagh, skylar laine, colton dixon, elise testone, even the winner phillip phillips! need i say more?). That being said, im excited about what the new panel will bring.

  47. umbrella says:

    Ben Folds was/is a judge on The Sing Off…excellent critiques, really knows what he is talking about and helpful advice to the contestants.

  48. Heavenstomurgie says:

    Let’s see.. Ben Folds judges the accapella show, “The Sing Off”, so I don’t think he would be available, but he would be really good. Personally, I think they need to deep six Jimmy Iovine as mentor, if they insist on keeping him, then make him a judge. Bring back real mentors that can offer valuable advice, Ie. Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Adam Lambert, even Andrew Lloyd Webber was great. However, I think if Randy Jackson is still staying, then they need to bring in an honest judge. Gladys Knight was great when she did it in Season 2 and for American Juniors. Then I would recommend that they bring in a rotating judge like they do for So You Think You Can Dance. They could get people who can be credible judges, who don’t want the big time commitment, or has something to shill. Neil Patrick Harris comes to mind (he was awesome that time during audition rounds for season 9 or 10), or rotate former contestants who can relate to the experience. I have a feeling that David Cook, or Elliott Yamin would be good.

  49. zaza says:

    I don’t think they need a well-known music person as much as they need a qualified one. Get someone who has years of R&D or producing experience…someone who can sense raw talent and has the know-how to develop it. I’ve always felt that the show would be better if the judges actually gave some tips to the contestants as opposed to just saying I liked it or you’re beautiful.

    Oh, and get rid of Randy Jackson.

  50. Amy says:

    I hope JLo leaves too. Hopefully they will get some actually good judges. I like the Adam Lambert idea.