The only person who’d agree to be an “American Idol” judge was finally named one tonight. Harry Connick, Jr. auditioned last spring for a spot on “Idol” but was dismissed by Simon Fuller. Instead, Fuller and co. flipped through a bunch of possibilities, from Jennifer Hudson and several former “Idol” winners to producer “Dr. Luke” and Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. The word was that Sean “Diddy” Combs turned them down.
And now, with minutes to spare before the auditions process begins, “Idol” was forced to go back to Connick, the guy they should have hired in the first place. Connick adds class and wit to the judge’s panel. He joins Keith Urban, who acquitted himself very well last season, and Jennifer Lopez, who looks good even if she’s not an actual singer. What “Idol” doesn’t really have is rock and roll — Urban is country — or actual R&B. it would be nice to see a male African American join the group. It’s hard to believe that Seal wasn’t free.
Anyway, Randy Jackson will move to a mentor’s role. Maybe in time he’ll go back to the judges’ table. “Idol” is the victim of age–it’s old, the audience is old, and the ratings last spring were on a huge downward trend. This could be the final year. The long knives will certainly be out. But Harry Connick Jr is a good choice. Surprising though: he records for Sony/Columbia and technically, they’re the enemy. Universal Music has the deal with “Idol” for all the artists.