The latest season of American Idol is long since finished and viewers have swivelled their gimmicky chairs around and moved on to something else ... or, if you're like me, you've given up on singing competitions entirely, deciding that life is too short to spend multiple viewing hours per week watching gutless so-called "judges" who seem afraid to say anything remotely critical to a collection of increasingly youthful contestants who don't know The Beatles.
The only thing that could bring me back is a maniacal Charlie Sheen joining the judging panel.
You may laugh, but his name was being thrown around as a potential replacement for departing judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. If Charlie Sheen had joined the judging panel on American Idol, it would be must-see TV for me - not because I'm a big Charlie Sheen fan, but because I get the feeling Sheen would be someone who spoke the truth in every situation.
He'd be Simon Cowell, only if Cowell was a lunatic with no music industry knowledge whatsoever.
The list of more realistic names being linked to the judging panel on Idol is long: Aretha Franklin, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and Elton John have all been mentioned. A story published on Sunday added Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Mary J Blige and Adam Lambert to the list.
The idea of Lambert judging American Idol makes me chuckle. It would be an interesting turn for the singer who was robbed of victory by middle-American voting habits that champion Bible-bashing, clean-cut, boy-next-door types. A shame, then, that Idol producers have already tried to quash the rumours.
Anyway, the rumours got me thinking: who could join the judging panel that would make me watch Idol again?
The problem with the above list of names is that they are all singers (with the exception of Sheen), most of them - like Carey and Dion - irrelevant in 2012. A singer isn't going to be an effective judge, especially not a middle-aged singer without any real successes in the post-2010 pop industry. Have a look at this and then try to tell me Tyler has any clue what he's doing. You can't. So for me to tune in, we need someone who knows more than how to sing well.
I think that if the Simon Cowell era told us anything it's that judging Idol effectively means being able to judge the performance as a whole, how a contestant might fit into the industry, and their marketability, not just their vocal technique. Perhaps the problem with finding someone with the suitable industry experience to join the judging panel is that industry people aren't very good in front of the camera. It's possible that Simon Cowell just happened to be the perfect mix of industry savvy and on-screen persona. We may never see someone like him again.
We might come close, though. Why couldn't the producers just bump industry legend Jimmy Iovine up to the judging panel? He seems to know what he's doing, right? Or why not target singers who do more than just sing? Someone like the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am, who can write, produce and perform, and is great in front of a camera, as his Graham Norton Show appearance a couple of weeks ago can attest.
I'm not saying it would be must-see TV on a weekly basis, but I'd check out at least a few episodes. And hey, that's a few more episodes than I've watched in the past few years.
So who could join the judging panel that would make you watch Idol again? Who would you like to see replace Lopez and Tyler? Are you going to miss the departing judges?
Post a comment