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October 6, 2015

Will J.Lo Be the New Simon Cowell? More About the 'American Idol' Judges Shake-Up

by Sharon Knolle, posted Sep 22nd 2010 6:45PM
Now that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have been officially confirmed as 'American Idol' judges for season 10, what other shakeups can we expect?

Try, no more guest judges or mentors. And no more forcing everyone to sing disco.

Here's the top tidbits TV Squad learned at this morning's press conference.

Who's the new Simon Cowell?
"We're not looking to replace Simon," insisted Fox executive Mike Darnell. 'Idol' producer Nigel Lythgoe added, "It isn't about role playing. It's about being yourself. That was Simon's character and [the new judges] are going to stay true to their characters."

Expect "tough love," not cruelty

"I believe in tough love," Lopez said, but Lythgoe promised, "I think the days are gone of kicking someone in the testicles. I don't want to see that."

Jennifer Lopez is NOT a diva
Headlines about J.Lo's reported "diva demands" were included in 'Idol's' own video clip introducing the new judge, but a question about her supposed demands produced howls from the other judges. "Easy, easy," rumbled Randy Jackson. Lopez responded that it "felt so good" to see her fellow judges come to her defense so quickly and so loudly.

"I'm kind of used to it," Lopez sighed. "We know the truth. I wasn't really worried about it. I was just looking forward to getting started." Lythgoe debunked one rumor, "There's so much rubbish out there. We heard that she only likes yellow M&Ms." And Darnell insisted, "The deal was not tough. There were no diva demands. It was a really easy, comfortable deal with both parties." The only details to be worked out, according to Darnell and Lythgoe, were about dates and scheduling.

What was Aerosmith's reaction?
"At first they were jealous," shrugged Steven Tyler. "Four months ago they were looking for a new lead singer. Things go up and down, but as a band goes, you live on the tail of a comet. I've been with these guys for forty years and they've been judging me every day. I'm sure they'll real happy for me."

Meet your new mentor, Jimmy Iovine
Iovine, aka that guy in the baseball cap, is the chairman of Interscope records and has produced dozens of top acts, from Bruce Springsteen to U2. The industry vet, whom Lythgoe dubbed "the music czar," joins this season as the would-be Idols' mentor.

Say goodbye to guest mentors
It's all on Iovine, who promised to really focus on the contestants and deliver visible (and audible) improvement every week: "We're really going to try to bring them along, and we're going to show that. They can't just be told, 'Sing better.' Someone has to work with them every week on performance, on style, and we're going to show the audience that progress."

Karaoke is out, originality is in
"We've got a whole new set of rules," said Lythgoe. "We're looking at the uniqueness of the artist. It's been a bit of a karaoke show, simply because we do songs that people know." Explained Iovine, "We're looking for originality. We're not looking for someone who sings like Whitney Houston. We're looking for someone who's influenced by Whitney Houston, but brings their own self to the game. We're going to bring originality to the cover song as well."

No more theme nights

There won't be any more "country" or "disco" nights, say the producers, just artists focusing on their own genre (although Lythgoe left open the possibility for a genre-wide '60s or '70s night.)

After 10 years, nothing on 'Idol' is sacred anymore
"If you ever tried to do anything with 'American Idol' in the past, it was always, 'Don't touch it!' Even though we knew there were parts that just needed redoing, basically," said Lythgoe. "Nothing can be the same for 10 years," pointed out Iovine.

Timbaland's on board
"We have producers like Timbaland and Polo who are going to be working every week, rockin' those beats," said Iovine. Timbaland, who was in the audience with his headphones around his neck, wouldn't say much about his involvement other than, "You're gonna see. It'll be something major." Lythgoe promised that Timbaland, etal, would help make the show current. "They're the ones who are working with Lada Gaga. They're the ones who are relevant today."

No more guest judges
Three judges is enough, declared Lythgoe, although he hinted that Iovine's "backside might hit a fourth chair" at some point.

Who were the other celebrity judges considered for this season?
"There were negotiations with a number of people that everyone believed would be good for this position," said Lythgoe," I'm not willing to discuss who those people were. I'm delighted with who we've got, obviously."

Who leaked those rumors about Elton John?
Ryan Seacrest joked (we think), "My sister." The host said he tested his friends and family's loyalty by sharing false leads with them during the drawn-out search process.

Is this a "make or break" season?
"I don't agree with that, not in any way, shape or form," insisted Lythgoe.

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I stopped watching after Jennifer Hudson left. I may tune in.

September 23 2010 at 8:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I see you taking the fun and joy out of American
Idol. Where is idea that you can be a star if you
just try and have the talent. I see them making over
someone just to become there idea. I guess if you are just going to have rock and what they call music
you do not want the over 40 or 50--years old to watch. I doubt it if any one contected to American Idol reads this, because they really do not care.

September 22 2010 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Virginia's comment
Mr. Richardson

Welcome to the last season of American Idol, Gone are the stars that made the show and gone are the viewers that gave it its top ratings.

September 23 2010 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I do not like the new line up of judges. I think ratings will drop and there will be less viewers. You can not break up a good thing and add new people!

Good Luck!

September 22 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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