Monday, April 15, 2024

“American Idol” Still Looking for Judge As Top 40 Producer Backs Out


“American Idol” is still looking for a third judge and time is running out. It’s already August 27th. Only Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez are signed to return to the show. Former judge Randy Jackson will show up as a mentor– unless he has to be drafted back into a judge’s chair. “Dr Luke,” a very successful top 40 producer, was going to be added. But he has a deal with Sony Music, and “American Idol” is all about finding acts for rival Universal Music Group. So now what?

Sony was represented on “Idol” by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith but no one seemed to mind since the group is older, and their fan base is set in stone. “Idol” now needs someone who’s either neutral or somehow connected to Universal. I think a great choice would be Bernie Taupin, whose records with Elton John are all distributed by UMG. He’s British, can be snarky, and certainly knows a hit sound when he hears it. He’s also not 12 years old.

But “Idol” is competing with “The Voice,” a show that boasts young rock and pop stars like Adam Levine and Shakira. But so far several candidates have turned “Idol” down either because they know the show’s popularity is waning, or their own careers are too busy. But the clock is ticking.

Who would you like to see in the third judges’ chair?

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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