Sunday, May 26, 2024

New American Idol: Who’ll Be the Next Simon?


Randee Dawn reports from Pasadena:

The upcoming, much-touted 10th season of American Idol – a kinder, gentler version?

Sounds like it if you listen to the new judges – Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez – and the show’s producers.

“In the past we may have been accused of offering glib remarks rather than helping contestants through the process,” said EP Nigel Lythgoe during the series’ TCA session today. “But we’re not there just to chop their legs out from under them.”

So who’ll be the next Simon when the show begins airing again Jan. 19? The judge who tells it like it is? Probably not Randy Jackson, though he’s got elder statesman status now: “You’ll see a more assertive dog, a different dog, a little more hair on the dog, if you will – a few less yo’s and a few more no’s,” said Jackson.

And probably not Tyler or J. Lo – who have reputations to protect in the industry and won’t help themselves one bit by being hardasses, a problem no one else seems to have noticed yet.

“We bring a different perspective, we just do,” said Lopez. “There’s nothing like being able to have a discussion with another artist.”

Added Lythgoe: “It’s just as important how they deal with the good ones as the bad ones. They bring a lot of good sense to contestants. It’s more of a critique than just pack your suitcase and go home.”

All very sweet and nurturing – and not really what brings many people to “Idol.” Time – and next season – will see just how much Simon is actually missed. This is one series that seriously needs some edge if it wants to reach another ten seasons.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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