The rumors have been confirmed. The results are in, so to speak: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will join Randy Jackson as judges for the impending season of American Idol.
So, what do I think of this?
1. I'm glad there will only be three judges again. I complained endlessly over the last two seasons that four judges meant way more talk and way less singing. And as the judges themselves are fond of saying: It's a singing competition, yo!
2. Jennifer Lopez is like the '00s version of Paula Abdul. They're trying to strike lightning twice by featuring a singer/dancer known to be a better dancer than singer, and one about five years past her last true relevance as a pop artist. (Is that mean? I don't mean to sound mean.) I also think she'll be "the nice one." But at least, as Paula was always sure to point out, she knows what it's really like to be a performer in this industry...the good, the bad and the ugly. I just hope she does more than ninagarcia on Project Runway to bring a little of her Latina heritage to the proceedings. ninagarcia doesn't even say "hola!" to the designers anymore, and as those of you who read my Project Runway recaps know, I was obsessed with waiting for that hola for about two seasons before I gave up :( I know, I know, JLo didn't grow up learning Spanish. Well, neither did I, but I can throw in a chica, hola and gracias with the best of them! And JLo has learned Spanish as a adult., so I hope to hear a little. [Note to self: Never too late to learn...if JLo can do it, so can I] Until I hear otherwise, I'm expecting her to give feedback like "Sweetie, you look great tonight!"
3. Of course Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler is also a performer, and one with a far longer and more sustainable pedigree than Lopez. Given how many of the recent popular contestants have been along the rock spectrum (Bo Bice, Daughtry, David Cook) it probably makes sense to get a rock performer on the panel. Simon produced a lot of, well, I'll be polite and call it pop music, but you know Il Divo, Susan Boyle and Leona Lewis aren't exactly cutting edge. Randy has had his moment on the rock train, playing with Journey, but Tyler certainly brings a different kind of rock pedigree to the panel. I just have NO idea what he'll be like as a judge. He'll probably surprise us all by opening his mouth and coming out with these erudite reference to vocal technique and emotional subtext. But until he does I'm expecting him to give feedback like "Dude, you gotta, I don't know, scream real loud and tie scarves around your mic stand. That totally worked for me!"
4. Randy is Randy. I think it's good to have some continuity, some sense of comfort, some idea what to expect. And yes, I expect we will still hear him give feedback like "Dawg, I don't know. I. Don/t. Know. it was just aight for me."
What we don't know is this: Who's the one who is going to be right, most of the time. Simon may have been over the top with his praise and his disdain, but directionally (to use a research wonk phrase) he was usually spot on. Who is the judge I will agree with?
I have no idea.
But I do know I'm going to tune in and find out. of course I am! How about you?
Bloggers on the New Idol Judges
Anything Hollywood: "The judges looked ... awkward."
Linda Sands: "I want to give this revamp a chance..."
Idol-Mania: "Will J-Lo judge her ex-husband?"
More from entertainment