Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead

Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead

Last night we got the ‘official’ news of what anyone who remotely follows popular television programming has known for weeks – Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are joining Randy Jackson to make up the panel for the new season of American Idol.

As I have stated before, my family is of the opinion that Idol has been on a pretty drastic slide since … well, even before Paula left, since they started having more obvious ‘plants’ (Carly Smithson) in the line-up.

But with the departure of Paula, the foundering uselessness of Kara Dioguardi and the bizarre choice of obvious non-music-person Ellen DeGeneres and move to four judges … it became dreadfully tiresome. There were always at least two people saying the exact same thing, and too much focus on the judges.

With Simon leaving, Ellen quitting and Kara being dumped, there was an obvious need for someone to fill in the table. The hope was that rather than more of the same they would try something new … and in a way they did – but not the way most fans of the show would have liked! Let’s look at the table … and figure out the roles:

Randy Jackson – he is a musician with some past production cred, but no one anyone ever heard of before Idol. And since he is known more for his quirky lines such as ‘dawg’, ‘you worked it out’, ‘wot’, and so on, as he was for ever having anything useful to say. Randy will be Randy.

Steven Tyler – the singer of a band that has had more bad years than good and is largely living off the legacy of great songs from 35-40 years ago and a half-dozen hits since, and has backed into pseudo-‘legend’ status simply by existing so long. Tyler himself is not particularly articulate, and I remember thinking back in the early 70’s in Boston that he was just crazy and/or drugged out like Peter Wolfe of J Giels. To this day he still never sounds coherent, insightful or musically intelligent. In other words … Tyler will be Paula!

Jennifer Lopez – What does it mean when someone who has just completed poorly guarded negotiations showing how difficult and demanding she is, including being reportedly dumped over ‘diva demands’, spreads statements about how she is NOT going to be a diva? Um, yeah. I see ‘J Lo’ like Kara – drastically oversold. She had a few hit songs, a few mildly successful films, and gets entirely too much attention for some reason I can’t discern. Since we already have Randy and Paula, American Idol needs Lopez to be Simon … but as she has already said “I don’t think I will ever, as an artist, put down another artist.”. So much for that. Here is my guess: Lopez will be Kara!

And so we have useless, incoherent and the dawg. Wow … doesn’t THAT look promising.

Actually it is even worse: Steve Tyler is going to be as old as the GRANDPARENTS of many contestants, hasn’t had a real hit in a decade, and most recent success is based more on nostalgia than quality. Jennifer Lopez is one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood while holding the distinction of never having a movie make more than $100 million! She is also out of touch with the current pop music scene and has struggled since having a few hits a decade ago. She hasn’t had a top 10 hit since 2003, and her 2005 album opened at #2 and immediately plummeted – never to return to the charts! These guys are as bad as the has-beens they have mentoring!

So what would I do if I could have filled those two chairs? Quite simple – pick the two best guest judges from last season – Katy Perry and Neil Patrick Harris.

Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead

For me Katy Perry was a revelation – she was smart and insightful with useful criticism that was pointed without being mean, and always spot on. I mean, here is a woman who is smart enough to know she has very limited natural talent in the field she makes a living – she doesn’t sing well, doesn’t act well, and doesn’t dance well. She parlays her limited range and bubble-gum sexiness to great advantage.

Perhaps because of that she had razor insights into what the contestants offered and actually said things of value. While the others (OK, Randy and Kara) fawned over every sob story, she said:

“This is not a Lifetime movie. … Everyone’s got an amazing story.”
“Don’t ever put someone through because you feel bad,”

That’s right – she was handing out judging instructions … as a guest!

At the same time she is quirky and you never know what she might say – or wear! She would make a great combination of Simon and Paula! Unfortunately now she’s too busy selling her new record, getting married, and showing her cleavage to Elmo:

Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead

As for Neil Patrick Harris … I don’t think I was alone in assuming that he would go the usual way of the teen star – drugs, rehab and a life of mediocrity. Yet he just keeps getting better every time he opens his mouth! I need go no further than what he said when preparing to be guest judge:

“My goal today is to shatter the dreams of thousands. If I can make two or three dozen people cry, I’ll have done my job,”

Yet he was also very articulate with his criticism and a very warm person. At times he was Simon, and at other times he reminded me of the 2 or 3 times Kara said something in her first season that reflected why she got the job. Plus he brought a sense of style and wit that the show has never had.

But alas, he is signed elsewhere … and was never asked.

I think that they should now seat the judges at a round table with a vortex insignia in the center, because with this trilogy of irrelevant and clueless judges, American Idol will surely complete its descent into the death spiral!

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

5 Comments on "Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead"

  1. Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead #americanidol

  2. RT @geardiary: Idol Thoughts: Give Me Katy and NPH Instead #Offbeat #TV

  3. Christopher Gavula | September 24, 2010 at 11:49 am |

    LOL – although Katy Perry has a good career going right now, I actually I found her to be one of the WORST guest judges I’ve seen. I felt her criticisms were rarely constructive and often mean-spirited and kind of snarky. At least Simon attempted to be constructive most of the time and he has many production successes to back up his opinions. When I hear her speak in other interviews she always seems to come off as angry or bitter about something and I thought that carried through to her stint as a guest judge on idol. Maybe age will temper her somewhat, but for now I think she would be one of the worst choices possible! Ah – how opinions on these things vary! I did think Neil Patrick Harris did a nice job though. He does seem to have an excellent grasp of the business as a whole and what it takes to be a good stage performer!

  4. Christopher Gavula | September 24, 2010 at 11:52 am |

    LOL And in all that I forgot to mention that I agree that the new judge choices aren’t as good as they could be even though we’ve “known” about them for some time now! 🙂

  5. Maybe my opinion is tainted because she knocked Kara down a few notches … and I really think Kara was absolutely the worst of all possible judges …

    I guess what I’ve seen of her in the press I don’t see as angry or bitter … if anything I think she is calculating and manipulative. As I said, it is very clear she has limited skills in the areas she makes a living, and I also think she is well aware that a large chunk of her success rides on visual appeal … so maybe the focus on that DOES make her bitter. Dunno, and really don’t care – in a few years she will be gone and forgotten …

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