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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215 Comments
  1. Leslie says:

    I am ready for a new panel. I enjoyed J-Lo and Steven Tyler because they weren’t so harsh, but they definitely were too nice. Randy is just overrated. I am tired of hearing that people can sing the phonebook dawg!! The judges need to be knowledgable of the business and also need to be willing to tell the truth. I don’t really care who, just some new judges please!!

  2. B232B says:

    How about Chuck Norris, Queen Latifah, and Justin Beiber?

    • Gorm says:

      They’d actually get along famously together. Queen and Chuck would bond over their shared distain for out & proud homosexuals. Biebs and Chuck would have loads to talk about in their shared belief that rape victims should be denied access to safe abortion procedures since “everything happens for a reason” -J.Beiber, 2011, via Rolling Stone magazine (Even if the reason is “she should’nt have worn that dress”, one could logically conclude)

      Im not sure what would spur Biber and Latifah to become bosom buddies.

  3. Stacey says:

    They need big names. Big stars. To get viewers back. Or at the least, honesty in the verdicts the judges bring. I know they say in house studio audiences are notorious for their lack of getting to the nitty gritty of the songs. While at home, we pick up the pitchy notes more clearly. So it’s easier to impress the judges, than the home audience. They will probably try to go younger. Maybe not Disney generation. But some with credible still to this day experience. They have to be able to say NO, say it’s horrible. I do think they might need to bring in a country star. Given how the viewers like country, and the singers leaving the show find themselves in Nashville these days. I like the idea of two females to one man. While I am not sure the string of males winning corresponding to the judge table. It would be a good visual, and different. And gives Randy a different prospective. You need a big name because it brings the eye balls. Simon could be unknown in the beginning, but not now. I hesitate to say Adam Lambert (I am not a fan). but he’s only been the business a few years. He can provide experience, but not a lot. Kelly being the first AI is a lot different. But they need bigger names…

    • PastaBaby says:

      Adam Lambert has been involved in the theater since he is 10 yrs old. How is that being in the business only a few years?

      When Adam came to mentor in S9 he was one of the best mentors that the show ever had. He was not afraid to be honest. Same thing when he was a judge on Project Runway. He was honest and gave constructive criticism. Even the contestants that were criticized said he was the best guest judge of the season.

      • Mary says:

        Judging on a every day basis is so different than a guest judge for one show. I personally think no alumni should be a judge. I also think no star who wants to revive their career. They should have a Label executive, a radio PD, they know what is being played, and a credible recording artist that is current. They have to approve more current songs and definitely different theme nights. The judges have to have chemistry but not make it about them. I watch AI for the contestants not the judges. The reason I don’t enjoy the voice or XF is because it is all about the judges. Let contestants be themselves, not try to mold into what they want them to be.
        Also, and this is the big one, whoever wins, the label needs to get BEHIND THEM, not just for a few months. I know all these shows are trying to get the younger audience, but kids have better things to do. They are not watching TV. I think change is good but I think AI is still better than all the other singing shows out there. They also need judges that can offer critiques, they don’t have to be rude like Simon was, but fair and honest.

    • FreeHaley says:

      One problem is that big stars often tend to have a tougher time being honest, since it seems harsher coming from them. So I don’t know that they need big stars at all necessarily.

      (although what I’ve seen on Duets, they seemed more open to speaking their mind, so I guess it can be done)

  4. Ron says:

    One down, two to go. If Lythgoe doesn’t replace all three, the show will continue to go downhill. Lopez was worse than Tyler, and Jackson was even more ridiculous. He was the joke of the original panel, and to have him in the #1 chair, as the “senior” judge, made the hole panel a massive “joke”. None of them new how to judge and critique singing talent. They were all more interested in promoting themselves and being “entertaining”. Hopefully, we’ll be saying “good-by, and good-riddance” to all three of them.

  5. jerri says:

    Adam Lambert would be the best. He’s honest and very quick. He’s also had lots of training
    in all types of music. Plus he has a hugh fan base that would not miss a show. He and Katy Perry have a long standing friendship from before idol. They would have great chemistry.

  6. RalphE says:

    Please, PLEASE, PUHLEEZE!!!! Get rid of that absolute idiot named R Jackson. Idol needs that to happen more than anything else. He’s downright offensive. when he starts to yammer I do one of 2 things. Hit the MUTE button. Or, Fast Forward right through his nonsense. I agree that Steven’s departure is a good thing but above all I hope RJ is gone next season too.

  7. Chrys says:

    I’d be relieved if it were shut down because then I wouldn’t feel obligated to watch anymore. That being said, I agree with Kelly Clarkson, Slezak, and mystery person for third judge – as long as they fit the criterias!

  8. James says:

    I agree with the folks who think that Adam Lambert would be a good replacement for Steven Tyler. I like the fact that an Idol alum might be considered for the job. I also think Carrie Underwood should be considered if she is interested.

  9. Templar says:

    Jon Bon Jovi!

  10. Jane says:

    Adam Lambert, Chaka Khan, and (I hate to say it), Jimmy Iovine or someone like him.

  11. Matt says:

    Great news for Rock and Roll and who cares about American unIdol anyway???

  12. Tyriq says:

    They should choose a no-name nobody with great critique. maybe like someone already doing a critique show on the internet. I watch a few who are great.

    • Mary says:

      I like that idea. The original panel were not big names. Simon who, Paul has been, and Randy Jackson played in Journey. They need to tweet the show, but the original concept was the best.

  13. Selek says:

    Apparently, her gig on this idiotic show brought JLO’s dead career back. But she still can’t act or sing and is probably a douche. Glad Tyler is leaving. He deserves much more than this crap.

    • Gorm says:

      Much more than sitting on his ass and pulling in 10+ million for 4 hours of work a week during performances and 10-ish full days of audtions? All well being chauffered in fancy cars, put up in posh hotel rooms and being waited on by a small battalion of personal assistants?

      How much better can a human life form be treated? Does the man excrete the cure for childhood cancer? No? You mean tell me he is just a warmed over relic from the 80′s when he flouted the nation drug laws as a member of the privlidged elite?

      Take alook in the mirror sister, you have a terrible, terrible case of Celebrity Worship Disease. (And now S. Tyler does not excrete the cure for CWD, no matter how much you want to suck on him)

  14. Linda says:

    Thank God! Now if only Randy would go bye-bye, too. And he can take J-Lo with him. Time for a clean sweep!

  15. TigerNightmare says:

    Can we please please just stop watching this already? Please?

  16. hr says:

    If reports of Randy moving to mentor role then move Jimmy to a judge in the Simon role..Id Die of happiness if we got Cher!!!! & then maybe Lambert or a younger star..or someone like Pink….So have one industry person + one music icon (cher or madonna or gaga..)+ one younger more current artist whi is articulate & funny(no miley)…pink

    • Joe Strummer says:

      Randy couldn’t mentor his way out of a paper bag. His whole vocabulary is 20 words, if that. They need to cut ties with that dude. By the way — Cher would SUCK as a judge.

      The only reason Jimmy Iovine sounded intelligent was because he knew who was going home. Thats why they pre-recorded his segment. I don’t think he’d be quite as good live.

  17. blingedup says:

    Michael, I agree with Every. Single. Word. you just wrote! And I love Steven Tyler, but yes! C’mon Idol, here’s your chance to breathe some life into this show again. Don’t screw it up!!

  18. jiji33 says:

    will def miss him. would have preferred to see randy and jlo leave. he was funny and has more integrity as the real deal more than any other judge on tv. i kept hoping that with time he will bring his insight to the panel (after all, he is known to be very critical in his work with aerosmith) but i guess it’s not going to happen.

  19. Joe says:

    Ideally, you’d do Lambert, Underwood and Clarkson. That would be the dream judges panel. They’ve all been through it. They all have different styles. They are have succeeded post idol. I’d also consider JHud for one of the seats since she’s an Oscar winner and she got booted from Idol 1/2 way through her season which gives her a unique perspective.

    That said, I would settle for Lambert and then want to them to really think outside the box if they didn’t do former Idols for the other spots. Jimmy can’t do this. He needs it scripted and needs several takes.

    What about Adam Lambert, P Diddy & Celine Dion?

    I’d also love to see them consider someone like Idinia Menzel or Bernadette Peters and go outside the box.

  20. Annie says:

    Preferably, they will find someone who, unlike Steven Tyler, has the ability to string an understandable sentence together.

    I think they need a Brit who isn’t afraid to speak their mind and get some honest critique going.

  21. Greg Shelton says:

    I will miss Stephen and if Jennifer leaves all miss her too but I guess replacements will be good to

  22. Greg Shelton says:

    I think new blood is always good

  23. Joe Strummer says:

    Totally agree with you Slezak. Please, do not get a “star”. Anytime you get a famous singer or musician they do NOT want to ruin their image so they always say nice things to the contestants. The reason most people started watching Idol in the first place was because Simon Cowell was actually saying what we were thinking at home. It was a breath of fresh air. Please, get someone who is not afraid to actually critique!

    Without the criticism you may as well be watching StarSearch.

  24. Joe Strummer says:

    Actually, if you want someone famous, I think Elvis Costello would make a GREAT judge. He knows music like no other. He is eloquent, and I don’t think he’d be afraid to tell it like it is to a contestant. He is also British so it will kind of have that Simon Cowell feel.

    He’d also put Randy in his place because Elvis is an actual Musician who actually HAS respect of people in the industry.

  25. karby says:

    IMHO, AI needs the ffg:
    1. A panel of judges composed of an executive in the industry and two big star names, hopefully with the qualities enumerated by Michael. But, I would suggest a rotating fourth judge, who can either be from the media (like Slezak), or is an alum of the show (like Doolittle), or is an expert of that particular genre or theme being tackled within a week. Because there would be more judges talking, they can reduce the group numbers by the contestants, which are just used to fill in the two-hour slot. But then again, good judging, I think, does not need to be wordy. If they really want to help the contestants, they can say more backstage, which I gather was never done by the judges in AI.
    2. “Infinite voting” should not be allowed. One vote per one caller. If they cannot go to this extent, then the maximum number of votes should be dependent on the number of contestants remaining, e.g.at Top7 week, the maximum vote should be seven per voter. I gather that there are voters who like to vote for two candidates, a first and a second choice. If by way of an example thus, that voter in Top7 could say give Phillip four votes and Jessica three votes. Voters will not need to compete against time with all the teens and their grandmas who have the whole night to vote.
    3. By the time the contest reach Top5, they might want to consider not sending any contestant home. Voting will continue every week, but is kept secret and is accumulated, to be revealed only in the finale. By Top5, hopefully, they have filtered in the best of the bests, but this way, a contestant having a bad week, has a chance to recover the next week. People like Haley Reinhart, Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, etc would probably have had more chance in this kind of set-up, I don’t know. If it is drama they want to extract out of the weekly elimination, they still get that prior to Top5. But by Top5, I think we should stop the Hunger Games, for majority of the audience would still want each and every one of the remaining five to succeed — giving them such extra exposure could help.

  26. S says:

    I will not watch this show if they get a previous idol contestant like Adam or Kelly. NO! Aren’t they suppose to be out there living their dream and singing? not be on Idol judging so who cares if they have experience. NO! Black Eyed Peas Member, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber or Nicki Manaj. NO Just NO! However, I wouldn’t mind Jon Bon Jovi that some have suggested and I think he’d make a good addition to the show plus he’s nice to look at and can actually sing :)

  27. Get Alanis Morrissette. That woman is brilliant and certainly won’t have any issues with the 12 adjectives bit. I’m sure she’d find ways to be honest while turning the comment positively. Debbie Harry would be a hoot… But maybe the problem is getting stars that are their own brand… they just have to be nice. A producer / songwriter might be more honest. But I doubt that honesty is really one of the show’s goals. Demographic rating potential and ability to be a crazy judge who’s entertaining despite not saying much seem to be more important. The issue is that they tried (and failed) to replace detached-but-available-for-the-worthy bluntness of Simon and the crazy-wtf-omg-did-she-just-say-that appeal of Paula. They have to seek something new. Randy is no Simon, Steven was no Paula and well JLo… hmm… was she meant to be Mary Murphy? Oh wait she was just there to plug her new single/perfume/clothes/jewelry line/next tour/revigorate her tabloid appeal and hey! it worked… but… sigh… Nigel: SYTYCD and AI are not talk shows. Stop booking guest judges that use your shows as if they were talk shows.

  28. Gerald michael says:

    Get Jon Anderson of yes or Peter Gabriel to men in there post rock era. Both meet the 5 needs of the show

  29. Merc says:

    Bring back Paula, hire Kevin Smith and fire J. Lo!

  30. Merc says:

    Also, change the voting so a woman can win!

  31. Erica says:

    I loved having Steven Tyler on the panel. He is a rock n roll legend. His style of commentary was refreshing. I for one will miss him. The only bonus is their new album coming out.

  32. susela says:

    Adele, Adam Lambert, and Harry Connick Jr. would be a BRILLIANT panel. I don’t think I would be able to watch if Mariah becomes a judge.

  33. Iwa Iniki says:

    I do not watch American Idol; however, the first time I saw him, I thought he was an ugly girl. Whatever he is, I cannot stand to look at him.

  34. Name That Tune says:

    JLo hinting at leaving, ST gone for sure. If Randy makes his exit, there is a real chance at getting some fresh blood on that judging panel.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for a clean sweep on the judges panel.

  35. Terry says:

    I hope all 3 are gone next season but please please please don’t hire new judges that are only in it to hock their own merchandise!

    • teatime says:

      I agree! The worst thing about JLo and Tyler was that they were selling their own merchandise and increasing their celebrity just by being on TV every week. I am glad they are both gone. I hope Idol does not make that mistake again.

  36. CAM says:

    The only thing that could make me happier would be to hear that JLo is also leaving. They both were terrible judges. They had some decent moments during the audition rounds, but they were few and far between, especially this past season. Adam Lambert would be great. Harry Connick, Jr made a great mentor and might be a very good judge as well. We need to hear some honest remarks. And the voting needs to be changed!

  37. Fran says:

    Jlo confirmed she was leaving too… which I’m happy about. I love Steven Tyler as a musician but as a judge? He was terrible and didn’t give any criticism at all. I get my hopes up when I hear we’re going to have new judges- but hearing Mariah Carey may be one just turns me off. I love so many of your suggestions but you know they are never gonna happen and we’ll all be disappointed….

  38. Amanda says:

    I watched AI up to season 10 and I believe it should have not come back after season 6, maybe 7. Let’s face it, only 3 contestants have had any REAL careers since the show! (That would be Clarkson, Underwood, and Hudson.) Ryan Seacrest has been one of the most nausea inducing humans I have ever seen and listening to Randy hurts my ears. I usually pushed fast forward during the critiques in the last few seasons I watched because I believed their credibility to be flawed. The producers are going to bleed this show until it dies horribly on the floor. Take a page from Seinfeld… leave on a (semi) high note. The show should end ALL TOGETHER!!!!

  39. mercedes says:

    Clean sweep. Of course, the voting needs to be changed, but in essence this is a tv show and that means it first has to be watchable. Jennifer Lopez trying to do nothing more than promote herself, a senior citizen Steven Tyler leering at teenage girls, and an inarticulate Randy Jackson have made Idol extremely unwatchable. I like the idea of one of the judges being a music critic. Someone not trying to sell me something and not worried about what their own fans will think. Most of all – someone HONEST!

  40. scott says:

    Who cares about this outdated show anyway??? They need to dump everything and lose the at home voting. Howard stern proved it all crape when his listeners voting in sanjia or whatever his name was. Time for something new!!!

  41. Amy says:

    I loved Steven on the show…he had heart and actually made, albeit in weird sounding to the average person “artistic speak”, musical sense. Yea I know that’s not the general opinion here…but he’s Steven frk’n Tyler…he’s in his own rockn’roll, music lovin’ head.
    I was over J.Lo tho’…so glad she’s out, she made me nausious this year. She did her time enough to get the needed branding/career boost…onto other things.
    Randy never bothers me like he does MS and many here.
    Idol had a great 11th season, I thought…don’t know what the shake up will bring…not speculating yet because I’d written them off after Season 7, and after a few baaaaaad seasons they came back (socalled “rating’s slides” notwithstanding they still pull in a big audience.)
    …btw I’m the “other Amy” here…not the one above. LOL…the one that was glad P2 won this year. :)

  42. Amy says:

    Shania Twain was great as a guest judge a few years back, though she’s scheduled to star in Vegas in Dec, on some comeback tour thing….so probably can’t do it…though I don’t know how long that goes for. She is classy, intelligent, a musicians musician not diva like JLo (or Mariah who’s been mentioned to replace), down-to-earth, straight up. Her paired with Henry Connick Jr. would be a good combo.

  43. jabbathewocket says:

    Shocking rethink for idol 2.0:

    1) every theme week gets a judge seat of someone who is familiar with the theme for whatever reason (IE if its “songs from the great white way classic era” then get someone intimately familiar with broadway to sit in the 4th chair for that week)

    2) a semi-rotating 3rd seat that is always occupied by someone who has been through the machinery of Idol or some other “star making” machine.. Lambert, one of the myriad people who have gone through xfactor, or even people from the disney star making, or in the older crowd people who where run through motown on full on management mode.. the key here is someone who has had success AND can empathize with the contestants..

    3) 2 new anchor judges who are above all else industry knowledgeable, and able to articulate clearly actual advice/critiques.. We dont need mean.. but we do (and so do the contestants) need brutally honest from at least 1 member of the judging team.. Randy was never “that guy” , Simon was.,. he was the only judge they ever had that seems to understand that after idol rejection gets far worse.. and that sometimes hard critique by him generated “more votes” than being sugary sweet and sympathetic.

    As to who any of these people are? I am at a loss for suggestions of people who are outspoken enough to make it work, and yet not beholden to Jimmy.. which is i think what happened to both Jennifer and Steven.. it was less uncle nigel and far more about them not wanting to go against Jimmy..

    Maybe looking OUTSIDE of the Music Industry for judges would help? Who knows

  44. You ask for “honesty”, & then seem to dislike the evisceration of Haley. Anyone who said Haley sounded good was NOT being honest!

    • FreeHaley says:

      Really? Did you see all the tweets in support of her from many of the previous season’s top idol singers? And even what some big names outside of the Idol sphere have said?

      What they did to her was a travesty of manipulation. Heck even some fellow contestants on her season have publicly said as much! She often worked with the so-called “tough one” vocal coach who said things in her support. Did you miss Moanin’? Miss where she had the performance of the night like practically every week the last few weeks running? Miss some of the background singers just breaking out into smiles and shaking their heads during some of her performances at a few things she did? Miss where they had filmed set pieces for later rounds for other contestants but not for her? Cut her video chat with home to 2 seconds and gave everyone else 2 minutes? Re-cut and filmed certain background scenes and pretened they were original cuts?
      etc.

  45. Tom22 says:

    It would really help if the new judges had to give 3 1-10 scores by category.

    A score for stage presence,
    a score for techical musicianship, and
    a score for “overall entertainment value”.

    Then they would only need to say a word or two about the specific score they gave rather than some winded gushing say nothing blabber.

    It coudl be similar to now but be much more uniform between peformers and help them focus their thoughts.

    stage presence “your dress looked great”, or ” I’d like to see your eyes more”… they don’t need to say anything but they could still give those little nothings and it might make it more comfortable to criticize slightly within a structure

    techinical musician ship – randy could throw in his “pitchy” or “sing the phone book” or someone could say you don’t quite have Beyonce’s power needed for that song.

    overall entertainment value – Song choice comments, did it fit you, what kind of artist.. and all the catch all things that are a combination of the first two plus a bit more.

  46. IdolFlash-7-9-35 says:

    Here’s a scenario I wouldn’t mind happening (but it probably won’t happen).
    Everyone TPTB ask to fill in the judging panel turns it down, and they still don’t have anyone by the time the contestants go before the judges for the first time. So at the risk of humiliating themselves, they make a public announcement and bring the show to an end gracefully. However, they still go through with Season 12 with a part-time set of judges, so as not to disappoint all the hopefuls who auditioned. Then the show would bow out without having suffered a humiliating ratings loss, which it would if it continued for years to come.
    Yeah, I know, highly unlikely. Just out of curiosity, who else would want it this way?

  47. linda lapa says:

    Ben Folds! Ben Folds! Ben Folds!!!!!!

  48. FreeHaley says:

    Most importantly, it’s Randy that has to go. And the totally out of control manipulations. This season was not so hot and the season before was an utter travesty. They need credibility again. Badly.

  49. Rick says:

    J. Lo is done too! Let’s just dump Randy altogether- no one needs him as a mentor, especially given his four-word vocabulary and lack of contribution to the last, oh, eleven seasons of Idol.

    I vote for Ben Folds, Mariah Carey, and John Legend as the new judging panel.

    Ben Folds was awesome on “The Sing-Off” and actually knows something about music. He has the acoustic background (and “artistry”) that the last few Idol winners have had.
    Mariah Carey is one of the most famous pop vocalists of all time and has an incredible voice (none of Idol’s female judges could boast that, as they have all been non-singers or severely autotuned). If someone is going to give vocal tips to the big-voiced belters Idol always features, this is the woman to do it.
    John Legend has been extremely insightful on “Duets” – I don’t see that show getting another season, so why not come to Idol? Plus, he covers the R&B vibe that Idol has been sorely lacking.