Home Television Idol: Forget JLO, Get a Supreme!

Jennifer Lopez–she’s a nice person and a good actress, but a judge for singers? I don’t think so.

Reports today that JLO may join the “American Idol” judging staff this season would seem problematic. Lopez is well known within the industry for using a lot of, shall we say, augmentation for her singing.

Back when she had her big hit with Ja Rule, called “I’m Real,” Lopez was noted for using then back up singer Ashanti to supplement he vocals. Ashanti went on to have a lead singing career thanks to that episode.

Lopez’s recording career has gone straight downhill over the last few years as the problems with her voice have been harder and harder to cover up. She’s never part of any charity events or recordings that require unsupplemented singing. She’s’ never even guest starred on anyone else’s album, lent a background vocal, or recorded a duet with anyone other than Ja Rule or Marc Anthony.

While the other “American Idol” judges certainly aren’t required to sing–and haven’t–on the show, having a pop star who never sings or even hums might prove a bit embarrassing. A real singer might feel at home to encourage “AI” singers but showing them how to do it. But Lopez will be unlikely to do such a thing on the show.

Just a couple of months ago, Lopez received a humanitarian award with husband Marc Anthony from the Apollo Theater. That night, not only did Anthony sing, but so did Aretha Franklin–each of them spontaneously. Jamie Foxx sang, so did two other performers. Lopez was there, and in close promiximity to a microphone. But it was kind of a sad commentary that she had to back away from a live, spur of the moment warble.

It’s a little unclear why Lopez isn’t concentrating on her acting career right now. That’s where strength is, and how she got her start. But everyone wants to be a rock star, I guess. As for judging other rock stars, Lopez may have tough sledding if the competition doesn’t include calesthenic dancing.

By the way if “American Idol” is looking for a judge who can sing, knows her stuff, and has real history, why not Mary Wilson of The Supremes? Mary has turned out to the real Motown survivor, a UN goodwill ambassador, and a welcome presence on the international touring circuit. And, god bless her, she can sing her head off.  

And PS: With all the shakeups at “AI,” it does seem like the stabilizing force at the judges’ table will be Randy Jackson. It’s not that often that good guys finish first. But Randy–who works all the time as a producer even while handling “Idol” chores–is the real deal.

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9 replies to this post
  1. Well, for MY 2 cents, I TOTALLY agree with the Mary Wilson notion!
    THAT woman CAN sing! She ‘IS” SUPREME, and HAS history, integrity, solidarity, and CLOUT and PRESTIGE! In Fact she HAD been consulted by companies to ‘mentor’ and/or ‘coach’ up and coming females that were trying to BE stars in the business. She Knows her stuff WELL! Better than one may ‘think’! She learned from Berry Gordy who, by the way, STILL confides in Mary Wilson!
    SHE has the STAR QUALITY as well to pull this show up like it NEEDS to be! And the public is sooo Mary Wilson friendly, and also HUNGRY…. that I believe it’ll DO it! She is also a REAL human being and VERY down to earth as well, has been everywhere, seen everything, and Still LOVES this BUSINESS. She is more than qualified to DO that job right…. NO downplaying of the other artists mentioned. But if you want the REAL DEAL, I would suggest the pursuance of Mary Wilson who has the HEART for it as well!!!!
    Yeah, that was more like 75 cents, but…… it’s substance, not pittance!!!

  2. Lopez did NOT get her start in acting. She began her career as a dancer and was a “fly girl” for two years on IN LIVING COLOR, and toured with Janet Jackson as a dancer, before she acted in her first film.

  3. Actually, Paula Abdul did ‘perform’ on the AI stage during her last season with the show. You may be right however, in stating that none of the judging panel ever sang on the show. Abdul performed, but some may argue if it was really ‘singing’.

  4. Roger, I have to disagree. Whether she can sing or not (could Paula?) she’s had some hit movies and she dances quite well. She tours a lot with Marc Anthony and if anyone saw her performance about 3 seasons ago on AI, she came off a complete pro.

    The show wants the judges to find a “star”….they haven’t for about 3 seasons and maybe Jlo and Stephen Tyler (I still can’t believe they got him!) are the ones to find that “star” that AI is lacking….because the ones this past 3 seasons aren’t exactly burning up the charts and the tour circuit.
    Also remember, AI is not just the show, it’s the tour and the record and management company. They desperately need a STAR. And Jlo and Tyler w/ Randy (Who I always felt was outvoted and outtalked by the other judges) can do that.
    Remember now Nigel is part of the producing crew, and you better believe he had a hand in choosing this new table.

  5. Humm, let’s see. Simon doesn’t sing, Randy doesn’t sing, Ellen doesn’t sing, Kara is known for her songwriting, not for her singing and last but not least, Paula couldn’t sing her way out of a wet paper bag.

    I’m pretty sure J-Lo is more than qualified to be a judge on that crappy show.

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