Rock Vet Steven Tyler on Bringing His 'Italian Aunt Phyllis' to American Idol'

by Hilary Rothing, posted Jan 19th 2011 7:30PM
There's really no way around it: Steven Tyler is a likable guy. But what do you expect from a man with a reputation as one of the most charismatic frontmen in rock history?

That's all well and good, but being an 'American Idol' judge means getting your hands dirty. And as Howard Stern pointed out in an impromptu interview with the Aerosmith singer yesterday morning, fans and critics are already labeling Tyler "the new Paula Abdul."

The legendary rocker hinted that the Abdul comparison might be due to his recent stint in rehab, but assured listeners that he's bringing his A-game to 'Idol' while not being overly critcal.

Tyler told the press during a conference call yesterday, "I'm not going in there to be a harsh judge or overly bearing. I'm just bringing my Italian 'I know how to work a room Aunt Phyllis' honesty."

But as someone who had to work his way to the top before institutions like 'American Idol' and YouTube existed, it's only natural to wonder if Tyler's perspective on the contestants might be a bit skewed.

The 62 year-old admitted to having an initial bias to the concept at first. "I didn't like the idea that someone could be an 'Idol' or call themselves an 'Idol' if they didn't do their dues and play clubs and drag their balls through glass," Tyler said.

But he soon came to terms with the times. "It's a different world today. Out of 700 their were 40 that were like 'oh my god,' and now we have 20. When you watch it, you kind of fall in love ..." In fact, Tyler revealed that his contact with 'American Idol' extends beyond one season, should things work out for both parties.

Of course, it's only natural for fans to look to Tyler to find the rockers in this season's crop of contestants, a bias he says viewers should not be worried about. "I have a good ear for all kinds of music and not all great voices make great rock stars. Some people with not so great voices make great rock stars."

As for finding the next "Steven Tyler" amongst the group, the new judge did reveal that he hasn't "heard a lot of (rock), but what I have heard has come out the wormhole. For every week that I brought along someone that was great, they were given the wrong song and the wrong key and that's the heartbreak. There's one kid thats got a great rock element, he's totally off the wall but what rocker isn't? I hope he makes it through, he's amazing."

We'll be watching for him as well as Tyler's unique take on 'Idol' when Season 10 premieres Wednesday at 8PM ET on Fox.

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I think steven and jlo did good for the first time doing this. I'm alot like them. It is hard to say no to someone that is auditioning for anything. Especialy when alot of the contestants were very young. Stop bea ting up the judges. For one thing Steven Tyler is my favorite Icon of rock,. I have seen Aerosmith 7 times, and each time They sound great. As far as j lo she is the best pop singer. Not only can she sing she also can act .As everyone has seen last night she has a caring heart..

January 20 2011 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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