Report: American Idol Mulling All-Alumni Judges' Panel -- Crazy-Good or Just Crazy?

American-Idol-Alumni-JudgesReality TV fans are acutely aware that American Idol — coming off a Season 12 finale that, year-to-year, was down 33 percent in total viewers and 44 percent in the 18-49 demo — is bracing for the kind of treatment that Tyra Banks gives to pretty young pageant girls on Top Model: A dramatic makeover!

And a report today from Vulture — that producers are considering a judges’ panel made up entirely of former contestants — certainly sounds like Idol is in for more than a basic cut-and-color during the dormant period before filming on Season 13 gets underway sometime in late August or early September.

RELATED | American Idol: 30 Best Performances of All Time

Still, while there’s certainly some #Pow to the rumors that Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken have all been approached about taking over the chairs most recently occupied by Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey, I can’t shake the fear that this sounds more like a gimmicky quick fix to Idol‘s declining health rather than a deeper examinatination of what’s truly ailing the franchise. (We should also bear in mind that, at this early stage, everything about Season 13 — short of the fact that Randy won’t be back — is speculative.)

RELATED | American Idol Season 12 Finale Recap: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Finalists

Nevertheless, let’s weigh the potential positives and negatives of an all-alumni panel:

* The majority of Idol grads are inarguably talented vocalists, lending immediate credibility to their critiques.
* Lambert and Aiken, in particular, have reputations for amusingly unchecked candor — a quality that’s been sadly lacking in most Idol judges (as well as their rivals on The Voice and The X Factor). Plus, as my Idology cohost (and Season 6 standout) Melinda Doolittle has proven, it’s possible to be critical without being cruel or dismissive. (Come to think of it, Fox really ought to have Melinda’s agent on speed dial…even if I have no clue how I’d go on without her!)
* Populating the panel with Idol‘s bold-faced grads might generate enough nostalgia to lure back some lost viewers, and would certainly underscore The Voice‘s lack of success in turning its own alumnae into musical superstars.
* Adam Lambert’s hair > Keith Urban’s hair.

RELATED VIDEO | Idol‘s Amber Holcomb on Her Almost-Didn’t-Happen Streisand Cover, ‘Young Whitney’ Comparisons and ‘Boo-Boo Trash’ Lower Register

* As we’ve seen with everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Steven Tyler to Adam Levine to Mariah Carey, it’s very, very, very difficult to get current artists — whose primary income source comes from selling their music to the masses — to say or do anything as judges that would make them seem “unlikeable.” While that’s good news to their labels, it generally leads to the kind of bland, toothless feedback that makes TV viewers reach for the fast-forward button. Clarkson herself wasn’t terrible at critiquing rival contestants last summer on the ABC reality competition Duets, but is “not terrible” really what Fox is looking for?
* Regardless of who winds up in the Paula Abdul Memorial Chair, Idol producers need to make a three-tiered guarantee regarding Season 13’s judges: 1) That said panelists will be encouraged — no, required — to give honest feedback about the performances happening in front of them. 2) That at no time will the show’s producers try to sway or script the judges’ comments during live performance shows in order to push some kind of premature, predetermined vision of who they feel should wind up in the finale. 3) That said judges will commit enough time and energy to their jobs that they’ll be able to actually formulate real opinions — and deliver actionable feedback — to the contestants in front of them. Without those guarantees, it doesn’t matter if the chairs are filled by your dad, my mom and a monkey gleefully banging together a pair of cymbals.
* Ultimately, if producers think that they can cook up a panel of three or four alumnae and — voila! — their ratings woes will be solved, then it’s time to start writing Idol’s obituary now. This is a show that — at its heart — is about watching an Oklahoma farm girl get transformed into one of the nation’s biggest music superstars. Uncle Nigel & Co. (or whoever replaces Uncle Nigel & Co.) need to examine every aspect of the show — from audition to coronation — with an eye on how to return focus to that anonymity-to-stardom trajectory and how to make viewers feel that they’re ultimately the true deciders of how said trajectory plays out.

What do you think of the idea of an all-graduate panel on Idol? Which three or four former contestants would you like to see in the chairs? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol news, interviews, recaps and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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

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  1. GinnyB says:

    I don’t watch the show now anyway and I would think Kelly Clarkson, among other Idol winners are too busy to judge. So that leaves the runners up. I know Clay would just LOVE to be a judge and he’d make a good one as would Melinda Doolittle. I think there are a few other Idols who would make good judges but as I said…most likely way too busy.

    • Sasha says:

      How would you know Clay would love to judge? i think he’ll turn it down. I think you are confusing Adam who said he’d LOVE to judge with Clay. *shudders*

  2. Tara J. says:


    I’m not for an all former-contestant panel, but I’m certainly for Adam on the panel. As for the rest of the panel, go back to when it was Simon, Paula, & Randy. One well-liked artist, and 2 not-that-well-known industry insiders.

  3. AlyB says:

    They just announced on E News that their source says its going to be a 3 judge panel. Deals are almost done with Kelly and JHud and the third spot is going to either Adam or Clay. Please please please let it be Adam. For the love of God let it be Adam not Clay.

    • MsBrady says:

      I just read that. Kelly Clarkson, J. Hud are on board and either Clay Aiken or Adam Lambert as the third judge. I agree, make it Adam. Inside source says it’s a 95% done deal.

  4. I’m glad you brought up Melinda. She is very entertaining on your recaps. I have a lot of ideas about what Idol needs to do but keep this to just the question asked.

    3 judges is enough. 4 ruins the majority and it takes too long for all 4 to get their critique in. I remember season 8 when judges had to take turns or when Adam only got one critique and it didn’t have words. (Simon’s standing O for those not paying attention)

    I think it would be a bad idea to have all the judges be alums. They are all the same age group and have similar experiences. I think they need an insider in the music industry, a singer who doesn’t just have raw talent, but who KNOWS music (Adam Lambert) and someone who is nurturing and kind. The original 3 were perfect. And of course we need someone who can be witty. The show is supposed to be entertaining.

  5. ThatBob says:

    Amazing how the small coven of Adam Lambert fans thinks they can make people like him just by posting over and over and over on message boards (clue for you: it has the opposite effect). Judging by his sales he’s not even in the top ten of past Idol contestants. Making him a judge wouldn’t attract anyone in the younger demos the show needs to survive.

    • AlyB says:

      Well I’m not part of any “coven” and I can assure you that everyone I know that used to watch the show would at least tune in to see how Adam does as a judge. He certainly appeals to a younger demographic than Clay and he’d be a better fit with Kelly and JHud.

    • lyn says:

      Actually I just googled it. Adam is number 9 in financial success among Idol alums.

      • ThatBob says:

        Depends on what list your looking at or when the ranking was done — not that it matters as ninth is pretty bad, too, considering the huge drop offs after Underwood and Clarkson and the less than stellar sales further up the list.

        • Victoria says:

          I also don’t belong to any “coven”. I’m a fan of American Idol, not any specific contestant or winner but I was wondering how long it would take for the “ugly” to rear it’s head and start the insults. I see this kind of juvenile mentality on all of these Idol discussion pages. I also decided to search Mr Lambert’s stats just because your snide comments also have “the opposite effect”….makes me want to become an advocate of whoever you’re trashing…here is the link I found from Forbes who has been doing the stats for Idol alumn since the beginning.. Read for yourself. These stats are the most current, published Jan 31, 2013 and encompass the time from May 2011-May 2012. According to Forbes Adam Lambert is in 6th place for that time period. Dropping from 2nd place from the previous year due to the fact that he took the year off to write and record his

          • ThatBob says:

            Reading is fundamental: there are many metrics out there. I said “sales.” You are using “earnings.” One is units, the other includes everything from concerts to weight watchers commercials. European or Asian concert revenue is not a measure of popularity in the United States, the country where American Idol must get its ratings (David Hasslehoff’s German concert popularity didn’t help Baywatch’s ratings in the states, either.). Lambert has little popularity in this country beyond the declining number of fans from his Idol days, when, let’s not forget, he couldn’t muster enough votes to actually win. The new viewers Idol needs to attract to succeed won’t be moved by his inclusion to watch.

            And as for coven: it’s no secret that, like many annoying fandoms, when Lambert is mentioned on a message board his groupies spread the word and try and create the illusion of a groundswell of popular support and attack anyone who disagrees.. This fools no one. Sure, there are a few that stumble in on their own, but I have seen the message boards and know they’re out there.

          • teatime says:

            The Forbes numbers are just guesses. They do not seem to have a lot of underlying specifics to support them. If you look at sales, that would tell a very different story.

        • AlyB says:

          Idol needs to do two things. Draw back some of the viewers it lost. They can and will accomplish that by bringing back a contestant that was as wildly popular as Adam. I get it that you don’t like him but an awful lot of people did. He’d be one of three. The second thing is bringing in some new viewers. The judges aren’t the draw for them. This past season proved that. Those celebrity judges did not bring their fan bases with them to the show. They can get new younger people watching by having charismatic, taltnted contestants that get to sing great tunes. That will keep any old viewers that come back too.
          Whether you personally like Adam or not, putting him on the panel will get people to watch. From the tone of your posts it sounds you’re going to cynically put down anything they do anyway. I’d urge them to listen to people posting all over the that they want Adam.

          • Sasha says:

            How is Adam “wildly popular” if he never even sold a platinum album the first time and he lost so many fans he can’t even sell more than 143k in a whole year this time.

          • AlyB says:

            @Sasha Wow, reading comprehension really isn’t your forte is it. I stated Adam was wildly popular as a contestant. People still absolutely love him and his charismatic personality even if they didn’t take to the musical direction he chose after the show. It’s between him and Clay for that final judges seat. Adam has my full support in that match up any day.

      • Sasha says:

        Kelly is #2 Clay is #4 Jennifer Hudson is #10 and Adam is #13.

        • Whatnext says:

          Oh, Sasha, sweetie, calm your hate, it’ll give you wrinkles. Here’s the Forbes list for May to May of last year, with credit to Victoria for posting it. What list are you looking at?

          • teatime says:

            I believe sasha is looking at record sales. It has nothing to do with “hate.”

          • Whatnext says:

            But you can’t compare album sales to the pre-digital era. It all changed around 2009. The music business changed drastically. Album sales numbers are completely different now, even for the biggest stars. Touring is the money-maker now, not album sales. This is a well-known fact.

          • Mark says:

            This is known.

          • teatime says:

            Yet Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Scotty McCreery, and Phillip Phillips all have platinum albums. David Archuleta’s first album sold almost as much as Adam’s even though Archuleta got a fraction of the promotion Adam did. Sure, album sales are down in recent years and the more recent winners get an unfair rap because of it. But several recent contestants have managed to sell more than Adam.

          • Whatnext says:

            But, what does that have to do with judging? Will they be fun & interesting personalities that can also give honest yet constructive critiques? Of those you mentioned, I think Jordin possible could. The others are questionable. A couple of the biggest divas in the world with the highest record sales and biggest paychecks (Britney & Mariah) have proven that they can’t string several words together to form a coherent sentence.

          • lyn says:

            Album sales are the tip of the iceberg. Singers make more money touring and on merchandise [t-shirts, calendars etc.] than they do with their % of music sales. Adam has had very successful tours.

          • teatime says:

            @whatnext 1
            ) David Cook could absolutely do the job. He is quick-witted, articulate, and likeable. He is an extremely accomplished singer, song-writer, musician, and entertainer. He was extremely popular on the show, is known for how innovative and entertaining he was, and is one of the more memorable contestants. He has a nurturing attitude toward others as was displayed during his season and since. He has a very diverse musical background. I do not see him as a ‘harsh’ judge, but he could be honest and not over praise something that is not good. I have no idea if he would be interested in this at this time or if he would be considered.
            2) The discussion was about the relative ranking of contestants. That does not determine who should and should not be a judge. It is a separate discussion. Sales numbers is one of the few instances where we have concrete information and the relative ranking is what it is.

          • Whatnext says:

            I really like David. I’ll never forget his version of Billie Jean…to this day, one of my favorites ever on the show. I also think he’s a musician first and have a feeling his “departure” from RCA will turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened for him in the long run. I haven’t watched his interviews, so I really don’t know how engaging his personality is, but I do remember reading once that he’s more of a homebody. There’s nothing wrong with that, except would he want to judge? The judges have to be on & social all the time. Whether we like them or not, we know that both Clay and Adam can do that, they’re both showmen. I’m not sure David could bring that kind of excitment…or maybe he could be the calming factor between the other two’s larger than life personalities. LOL

          • teatime says:

            Cook is not shy at all. He is down to earth and family oriented. Has midwest charm. But he is plenty comfortable in front of a camera, performing, working an audience, thinking on his feet, acting, etc.

        • teatime says:

          Sasha, thanks for looking up the real stats.

    • HTGR says:

      It’s actually a plus that he doesn’t have crazy big mainstream sales now. It make for a BETTER judge, if anything.

      • HTGR says:

        I was never in the crazy for Adam crowd anyway.
        I just think he’d be a great judge. Understands various styles, seems very knowledgeable, not a huge top mainstream pop star at the moment, believe he wouldn’t stand for being controlled, has had some good comments and insights since he has left.

  6. julia says:

    i think it would be so cool if they did like an season where they brought back the “shocking elimination” from each season
    so we would have a top 12 of..
    seasoon 1) tamyra grey
    season 2) clay aiken??
    season 3) jennifer hudson
    season 4) constatine maralous??
    season 5) chris daughtry
    season 6) melinda doolittle
    season 7) michael johns
    season 8) adam lambert
    season 9) sibohan magnus
    season 10) pia toscano
    season 11) colton dixon
    season 12) angie miller

    ik some of these people are much more well known then others, but hey it will be some much needed exposure for the lesser-knowns. And it would still be totally awsome to watch bc most of them have very different singing styles
    i didn’t start watching idol till seaon 7 so the first 6 are much just from i heard, and the last 6 are what the general consensus seems to be but feel free to correct the list if u think im wrong

  7. New England says:

    All alum would be interesting as long as they had interesting personalities. I watched Kelly on Duets and based on that I don’t think she would make a good judge. But anybody on the planet earth would be better than Minaj and Carey. Were the producers on drugs when they chose them? Jennifer Hudson is so very unlikeable and still is. She’s behaves like a diva when she hasn’t earned the right. I would worry that Adam Lambert may be too unfiltered. The sensors would have to keep on their toes. But then again that might make it interesting. I haven’t seen Melinda outside her Idol days and she was so shy on the show it’s hard for me to say. I think maybe Adam Lambert. It would be interesting to see what he would wear and what he would do to his hair and what he’d say. But again he might be too big a personality.

    • Whatnext says:

      LOL No, Steven Tyler needed censors, Adam would not. He’s very encouraging to new artists, but he would also be honest in a nice way. He’s also quite intelligent and articulate with a great sense of humor. He’d be a lot of fun on the panel, especially with someone like Kelly.

      • lyn says:

        ITA. Adam is amazing. And that isn’t a word I use lightly. His background in musical theater gives him insight that’s missing in someone like Nikki Minaj. Nikki is an auto tune pop artist who actually can’t sing very well. Not a Whitney by a long chalk. Mariah has the pipes but lacks conviction. The only person I think would be as talented and as honest as Adam wold be Cher.

  8. dot agree with the comments Adam is Queen-musical theatre and remember he did not win.Harry Connick Jr ( never heard of him) is arrogant cruel bitter and boring just like the noise he calls his music. The best option may be to rotate the guest judges .Please not Minaj she is so bitter and jealous, has no morals or standards. Yes I have looked at her cheap slut videos and really no talent just sleaze.Regarding the structure and development of AI the problem appear to be the materials the song choices which are with the copy writing music catalogues.They are only permitted to cover songs within the license they pay for.Hence the consistent regurgitating of repetitive boring ballads. Mostly from dead writers which you can use as “what can they do” their dead. I may add that only winners of AI should be considered for Guest turns after all the others did not make it did they?

    • Caro says:

      I don’t agree about only wanting the winners as Judges. There were plenty of people talented enough to win and people who should have won but didn’t because of Idol’s crazy voting policies! They need articulate people with personality and experience – winning doesn’t matter.

      • lyn says:

        Absolutely correct, Caro. Post Idol, Clay out earned Ruben, Adam out earned Kris etc. The voting policy deprived them of the win, but not the after rewards.

  9. MsBrady says:

    Per E! News. No deals are final, but we hear that original Idol Kelly Clarkson and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson are on board for next year. Fox is also chasing runner-ups Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert to fill the final slot, as Idol will go back to a three-judge format One Idol insider tells us that while nothing is final yet, it’s “95 percent there.” The Idol alum panel will be Fox’s attempt to reignite ratings by bringing back Idol faces that the fans care about. “It’s Idol stars guiding the next generation” adds one Fox source.

    Please NO J. Hud, I don’t like her at all. She acts like a DIVA already. No for Clay Aikens, can’t stand that guy. He is so full of himself and butt ugly. Kelly, Adam, Kellie Pickler.

    • Sasha says:

      Adam Albert fans are jerks. Nobody else is calling anyone ugly but them, even though Adam without his inch thick makeup and his red hair and eyebrows is a horror show.

      • Bruce Bing says:

        says the crazy claymate who has posted about 100 comments spewing hate on Adam Lambert and his fans. Typical claymate behavior that’s why no one likes Clay Aiken

    • Caro says:

      Ugh….Jennifer Hudson? I hope not! I cannot stand her! I think she is completely over-hyped and not anything special! And Kelly can perform on Idol but she should not be a judge! Clay would be good! Or Diana DeGarmo! Adam Lambert would also be good!

    • When has JHud “acted” like a Diva? Only in people’s minds. That label was stuck on her, and all the other Black girls. Don’t believe me? Google their names and watch the Diva slur rear it’s ugly head.

  10. YowzaPowza says:

    Where is the last episode of Idology? Are we not getting one?

  11. deedee says:

    Gah! So many comments – I can’t keep up!

    I say nay to an all alum panel. One alum is enough (and make her Melinda Doolittle :D ). The rest should be an industry person like Simon or Jimmy, and maybe a successful singer like Shania, or Harry Connick Jr., Stevie Nicks, or, yes – Keith Urban. Three judges – that’s IT. Four is overkill and boring.
    And most importantly – pick a good, talented cast. F*** the WGWG nonsense. Just cast whoever’s good, let the judges give their honest views, give voters their say, and let the chips fall where they may. (I think I just wrote a country song! ;) )
    Nothing will bring Idol back to its glory days (:(), but maybe we can maintain the numbers as they are now, and keep the die-hard loons happy. Also, make sure to keep cranking out viable stars to justify the show’s existence. Then, maybe we can all grow old together on the TVline comments section!
    P.S. The minute Slezak calls it a day, it’s deedee out!

    • marie says:

      “…maybe we can all grow old together on the TVline comments section!”

      … I’m already there.
      Anybody wanna catch up?

    • KP says:

      Completely agree with your suggestions! A diverse group of judges sounds best. Reading these postings is like watching people “fight” over their favorite during Idol season, ugly comments and all.

      • Whatnext says:

        I loved Stevie Nicks as a mentor! Also, she’s rarely mentioned, but I think Cher would be an absolute hoot!

  12. Mika02 says:

    Melinda and Ruben please!

    • lyn says:

      I’ve long advocated they choose among the following: Queen Latifah, Cher, Babyface, Adam Lambert [Clay lacks Adam’s polish and music industry knowledge], Janet Jackson, Anastasia Brown [though I doubt she’d have time], Jon Bon Jovi [again time issues], or Bruno Mars.

  13. John says:

    Melinda sits on the panel, Haley takes over for Melinda on Idology.

  14. Bruce Bing says:

    Adam Lambert would make the most interesting judge as he has the biggest personality.

  15. Caro says:

    They only need three judges – four is too many! One alum from Idol would be a good idea but it shouldn’t be someone successful because they will be afraid to be critical. Get one of the kids who has a personality and is articulate but who hasn’t really done anything and has accepted the fact that they aren’t going to make it in the music business. Then get a has been and a producer so you have someone who used to be a star, someone who knows how to make a star and someone who has been through the Idol process. Done!

  16. kat says:

    For those illiterate misinformed losers on here that are bashing Adam Lambert – for everyone of you who say you won’t watch Idol if he’s a judge, I know 10 people who will watch it if he is a judge. I know a lot of people who stopped watching Idol after season 8. Adam would give honest critique which that show has sorely lacked since Simon Cowell. Adam has more character in his little finger than you losers do in your entire bodies.

    Haters gonna hate. You must have miserable lives to spend your energy posting on a site about someone you supposedly hate. Maybe it’s time to come to terms with your homophobia. Experts say if you protest homosexuality to that degree, maybe you are hiding your true sexuality. Something to ponder? I for one have a complete happy life so I don’t intend to stay on this site any longer. I am a fan of Adam’s since he appeared on Idol and will be for life. Sign up Adam Lambert to be a judge!!!

    • ludafan says:

      And since nobody has mentioned him, much, Kris Allen – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like him, yet he’s not as saccharine as Keith Urban, he’s snarky, but also helpful and musically knowledgable, and funny – and smart – and attractive – I don’t know why he’s been ignored here, he’d be very good.

      • Nobody has mentioned Kris because AI is looking to attract viewers and people don’t even remember Kris. AI lost so much credibility after crowning him the AI winner over Adam, hence the declining ratings. He’s become a trivia question. “Q: Who’s beat Adam Lambert on AI8? A: Wait! – Adam Lambert didn’t win AI8? Seriously?”

  17. The show needs to get rid of the sideshow barkers masquerading as producers and regain focus by implementing many of the good ideas expressed on this comment feed and by Michael and Melinda all season. I agree that one former contestant would validate the show’s premise and success record. My pick would be Adam Lambert, and no, I’m not going to post his résumé but he has the credentials and proven ability to do the job.

    • lyn says:

      I agree, but would also add that they need to limit the voting to 10x per device. If those limits existed in season 8, Adam would have won.

      • teatime says:

        I am SURE Adam had power voters. Major power voters. I doubt he would have done better without power voting.

  18. dj says:

    Definitely there should only be three judges. The judges comments took way too long this season. Alumni would undoubtedly be sympathetic to the contestants, and they also would be able to see through any BS like Lazaro saying he only learned the song last night and Jimmy saying he was working on it five days ago. The only downside I can see is the part about putting their careers on hold to do the show. I don’t know how many of them, if any, are in a position to do that.

  19. brita says:

    bring Steven Tyler back

    • dj says:

      Stephen Tyler was fun. He was a little too nice most of the time, not wanting to hurt contestants’ feelings, but he made me smile.

  20. Juan says:

    You know what? I am not a Nicki Minaj or rapper fan, but as a judge, I appreciated her candor, and she DID give it to them straight. She told them flat out when they didn’t do well or didn’t connect with the song. If she weren’t on this season, I think we all would’ve slept through it. Melinda! Not all celebs because that takes the focus off the contestants. Adam would be awesome and how about a totally behind the scenes or relatively unknown producer? No one really knew Simon or Randy-and it worked really well. I think Kelly would be too busy. What about Toni Braxton? She’s retired and broke, I’m sure she could use the money!!

  21. Katarina says:

    Adam Lambert would be the best judge ever. He is honest and humble and has always been supportive of American Idol. He has said that American Idol has been the best platform. He would be there for the right reason of giving back to Idol by helping others to reach their dreams.

    Jennifer Hudson just last year said that American Idol should stop and go out on top. Sounds pretty hypocritical if she was to become a judge on that show.

    When Adam mentored on season 9 he was insightful and really helped the contestants. The rest of the world loves him and the US is going to lose him if you don’t wise up and give him the respect that he has earned.

  22. Arena Director says:

    Bring back Paula Abdul! Her comments were intoxicating. But I think they should let the viewers vote on who the judges should be. It does make sense to have previous successful contestants as the judges, for they’re the only ones that truly understand what the contestants are going through. They definitely need to do away with the fanatical voting system. It’s unfair and doesn’t make any sense for one person to be able to vote a thousand times who won’t even buy a single piece of music. A lot of folks get discouraged and stop watching when their favorite gets voted off. I came to this conclusion when Chris Daultry got voted off and was more successful then Taylor Hicks the winner. Its just should not happen that way. The winner should always be more successful. So they really need to look hard at the voting system. Now for song choices. The producer or judges of the show should have more authority on what songs the contestants choose. If they think the viewers are going to think a song is boring and turn the channel then save the show and tell them to sing something else. It would be very entertaining if the contestants could do a music video as well. Gets kind of boring just to see them standing up singing all the time, then next you hear the judges saying about the same thing each time. Too predictable. I hope American Idol will always be around. It has helped so many launch their music careers and inspires talented and gifted young folks to reach their goal. I will continue to watch and support American Idol. But I have not voted since Adam Lambert and I will not vote anymore unless they change the fanatical voting system. Keep Ryan Seacrest forever! He’s cute and I like what he always has to say. He keeps it real and he is entertaining. If he leaves the show will look like it’s failing.

  23. Oldman says:

    I think using Idol alumni as judges is an excellent idea. They know the process and hopefully would give honest feedback. And make sure one of the judges is Harry Connick, Jr. Would be nice to have someone not afraid to tell it like it is. He’d be a nice Simon Cowell!

  24. AIFan says:

    After watching American Idol since the beginning, I do believe Adam Lambert would be the best possibility of an alumni judge. There is no one more articulate than him, or with more charisma and stage presence. I have no doubt that he would excel as a judge. I believe the chemistry between the judges if most important. Its not sales, No1 Hits, none of that. Its how the panel of 3 or 4 interact with each other and make the viewing audience feel comfortable and not awkward like this past season. It was not even tolerable. I am also confident that Adam has many in the industry who respect and admire him. I just want to say also I find the desperation of some posters here laughable. People who comment over and over and over trying to dissuade TPTB from choosing Adam. As if they have any control over what will happen. *inserteyeroll*

  25. teatime says:

    The more I think about this, the more I like this idea. In fact I love this idea of an Idol Alum judging panel.
    There are at least a dozen alum who could do this at this time. As time goes by there will be more who grow into being able to do something like this. If this works, Idol will forever have a steady stable of possible judges. And the judges will be a constant reminder of past seasons that people loved.
    If any celebrity is going to ‘cash in’ on Idol’s success and further their own career by being a judge, it might as well be someone who already paid their dues on the show. I’m tired of random celebs cashing in on this show regardless of what they ever bring to the table.
    One of the best things about Idol is how many unbelievably talented people have got their start on the show. Lets showcase them.
    Most alum might have trouble being negative, but at least they won’t blow smoke at the contestants. They’re not going to tell someone, “You’re a star!!!” They’re not going to give someone standing ovation after standing ovation (unless the person really is doing something spectacular and never before seen on the show.) They have a very real, practical sense of what it takes to translate this show into a sustainable career in entertainment. They also have a very real, practical sense of what kind of feedback is or is not helpful at this point in a person’s career.
    I also think there is probably a vast array of options for panels that will have both camaraderie and honest differences in perspective which they feel comfortable sharing. As it is, Idol alums is already an exclusive club with shared experiences that few other people can understand. So that might help create some level of cohesion for any panel of 3 alum.

  26. Clay Aiken is definitely the most qualified as he has experience judging. He says what he thinks, with wit and charm, and is probably the most articulate of all. Remember Simon said they were treating the results of Season 2 as a tie. Also remember that Season 2 was the highest rated season ever. Clay has done 11 or 12 tours, Broadway and just finished The Drowsy Chaperone at the North Carolina Theater. He returned to say thank you for giving him his first chance on stage. I have personally met him and he is one of the nicest men I have ever met. The Foundation which he started after Idol celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has helped many disabled children integrate into activities with abled children. This is a good and honest man. Idol would be lucky to have him.

    • How can you put Clay and “honest” in the same sentence? He is NOT nice and he is a big ol’ liar! His idea of clever and witty, are actually snarky and rude.

      He sat by while crazies in his fan base tortured the guy who outed him – getting him fired from his job, death threats, driving by his home after publishing his address & phone #. Then 10 years later he comes out in People Magazine with “Oh, yeah, I am gay, I’m just a liar.”

      Then he was rude to Kelly Ripa as a guest host on Regis & Kelly and he actually covered Kelly’s mouth with his hand – who does that? – because she wouldn’t let him interrupt her. Which turned into a big mess when Rosie, the “Queen of Outing” accused Kelly of being homophobic. When Kelly called her out on the View, Rosie got po’d & quit.

      He’s also said some unkind things about Adam Lambert who is actually nice and honest.

      The dude is poison.

  27. AJ says:

    One thing you can be 100% sure of is that if they get Kelly for a judge we’ll be hearing HER honest opinions. This is a woman who waged a full on war with Clive Davis, one of the biggest guys in the industry, because he was trying to force her into his image of her career. No way she’d let the producers tell her what to say.

  28. dj says:

    Wow, I had no idea that Clay fans hated Adam fans and vice versa. It seems like no matter who they get as alumni judges, some segment of Idol fandom is going to be pissed off.

    • Mark says:

      This is news to me too. It’s “tastes great” vs. “less filling” all over again.

    • Chucky says:

      Yes, their fans hate each other 150%. I noticed that too! I believe Adam does not care for Clay too much either. Since Clay trashed his singing abilities, when Adam was on Idol.

  29. Carl says:

    If you think this year was bad,Adam Lambert would runaway everyone else. He is a nobody. Idol has been nothing since the season Carrie Underwood won and has NEVER been watched as much. Carrie Underwood equals a Win win win .Not all those NOBODY’S that are being talked about. Much better shows to watch until then

    • Chucky says:

      Season 5 with Taylor Hicks was the most watched season and has the most contestants going on to sucessful careers. Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee, Elliot Yamin, Kellie Pickler.

  30. sweetie says:

    My comment is way down the list so who knows if anyone will read this. What I see is the problem with AI is that the singers stand at the microphone and sing. They don’t perform. Sometimes they don’t even move their feet. Week after week. They make goo goo eyes at the camera trying to interpret the song, but they just look silly. The reason Adam Lambert made such an impression on Idol was that he had a strategy and he put it to work brilliantly. He was never predictable. He emoted the song through his body. If you noticed, when he sang a ballad, he was always backlit so you could not see his face very well. He made the song great through his voice and how he sang the song. His duet with Angie showed how much he could bring to the show. It was so obvious that Adam coached her on how to physically perform the song and use her voice to make each note matter.
    Another problem is that the judges say “tell us what kind of artist you would be,” but “you must sing Bacharach this week.” No contemporary artist is going to sing a song that is not suited for them. It is counterintutive. Don’t force these singers to sing outside of the genre they are suited for. How many times have the judges commented on song choice? Is there anything worse than watching someone stand and sing a song that doesn’t fit the singer’s voice? When somone is singing poorly and they try very hard to “perform” the song, every bad note accompanied by overacting the song makes the singer look stupid. As soon as they start hitting bad notes, every bit of the bad physicality of the song becomes magnified. Idol is trying to please the audience while sabotaging the singers. The judges are expecting amateur singers to know how to pick the right songs. They need help with this. Adam was able to work with the band to get great arrangements. Why isn’t this happening now? If Adam was a judge, he would give constructive criticism in a nice way. If other Idol graduates cannot coach the singers on how to really perform the song, they shouldn’t be judges.

  31. I would love to see Adam Lambert 2X weekly for 4 months! Let’s face it folks, he’s beautiful inside & out, he did an awesome job as a mentor, and the audience freaks out at the mere mention of his name. Many Glamberts, like me, feel he has the best voice to ever grace the Idol stage and he was robbed! Yet he is an International superstar. I also think it’s a good sign that he was asked back to perform for the S12 finale, along with Jennifer Hudson, my fave in season 3.

    I thought JHud was S3’s best singer and dodged Simon’s slings & arrows with an upbeat, down to earth personality. She’s a real sweetheart! I cringed every week when Simon attacked her mercilessly to get her out of his precious Fantasia’s way. That’s why it would be a triumph to see her in the judge’s seat. Talk about your full circle moment!

    I like Kelly Clarkson, she’s an real awesome person, but her singing was more like hollering to me. I rooted for Tamyra Gray FTW in S1. Kelly’s a proven judge and she is the 1st AI!

    I never liked Clay Aiken. He is a very talented singer, however, his snarky attitude and mean spirited assault on anything not him is such a turn off. I could stomach Clay with JHud and Adam to diffuse the “ache of Aiken”. If AI is looking for a rude stinker like Simon, with no character, then Clay’s the “man”.

    Other good Alum judges would be Kellie Pickler S5 (fresh off a DWTS win), Tamyra Gray (shoulda won S1, “Fool in Love” is one of AI’s greatest all time performances), Melinda Doolittle S6 (Sanjaya was my fave S6, I can see him as a host/asst host), David Cook S7, Ruben Studdard S2.

  32. Inmypjs says:

    So supposedly, JHud already inked the deal. But personally I would rather have Melinda Dolittle as a judge. Kelly, Adam and Clay should be in that panel too. I guess Pickler was also rumored. I also wouldn’t mind Constantine.

  33. IdolFanTilTheEnd says:

    I think Jhud, Kelly and Adam would be great judges on Idol. I think they owe it to Idol to at least come back for a year to revamp the show. Idol has done a WHOLE lot for these three artist, and if the producers of the show would organize it correctly, they could save it from sinking deeper. That being said, please please please encourage artists who write their own stuff! I am sooooooo sick of hearing all of the same songs…. Whitney’s “I Run to You”, Adele’s “Someone Like You”…. In fact, next season should just ban any song by Whitney, Adele, Celine, etc. etc. etc. Remember last season when Angie did her own song? There is something magical when an artist can perform their own song instead of having to mimic or refresh a classic…. it’s a freakin classic…. quit trying to refresh it!

    Oh and cut back with the sob stories…. If I see one more person crying about how they could use a million dollars to give their mama a new home, or provide for their family better I’m gonna throw up! We all know how important a million dollars could be to someone…. keep it upbeat and quit trying to play with America’s emotions just so the producer’s choice makes it to the end! Season 1 was the best season because the producers couldn’t rig the show or manipulate it so their choice goes through!

    Enough ranting! AI fan til the end…

  34. Luz says:

    I was so hoping that someone would come to their senses and hire Adam Lambert as a judge in the next Idol. It did not happen and I feel that the end of Idol is approaching. You need new blood and it is not happening. Adam Lambert is a professional and things in Idol would improve greatly.

  35. Luz says:

    The best person to hire is Adam Lambert. I look for him everywhere and I am so upset when I cannot find him. For some reason he is not in specials or tv shows. He is the best male singer ever and I cannot find him. What I do know is that when he is announced as appearing on a show that show will get high viewing. Adam is the best and I cannot figure out why he is not everywhere. If Adam will appear as a regular on a show, that show will get high ratings.