In the wake of its judge-ocalypse, American Idol is taking on some characteristics that some of us can’t bear to see. Like your best girlfriend after she was dumped by her serious boyfriend and second love of her life (Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi were just flings), Idol is looking for its next big relationship. And like that dejected friend of yours, our beloved series is going for all the wrong guys and girls — including, possibly, Charlie Sheen.
Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe threw Sheen’s name out when he spoke to TMZ on July 17, but that was likely a joke considering Sheen’s level of music expertise doesn’t extend much beyond lip-synching to the Two and a Half Men theme song. Still, good ol’ Charlie is popping up just about everywhere declaring his love for this novel (rash, unlikely) idea. His most recent endorsement? He told Ryan Seacrest on his morning radio show, “It seems so out of the blue that it almost made perfect sense. I thought this could be a lot of fun. Seriously… I’m genuinely interested. It’s so different, it could be radical.”
It’s not so much the fact that Sheen is interested that’s the bother. It’s the fact that Idol is so vulnerable right now. All of its classmates — The Voice, The X Factor — have big-name, salacious judges and they’re raking in the ratings. Idol’s feelings of inadequacy, now that it shares its audience with these shows and after Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler announced their departures, could send the show down a dark road. It could be worse than Season 9. You probably don’t remember Season 9, because your brain’s trauma mechanism has kindly removed it from your mental catalog (for the record, that year's winner was Lee DeWyze).
Obviously, Idol needs to move on and find someone else, but not at the risk of losing everything we love about it. We’ve come to accept judges who don’t quite know what they’re talking about. But at least they were from the music industry. Throwing an actor like Sheen in there is little better than throwing in my friend from high school who publicly votes for every single Idol contestant on Facebook and then tweets about it from 10:01 PM until midnight. Sure, they love the show, but that doesn’t qualify them for the judging panel.
But Sheen doesn’t yet have his hands on a Coca-cola goblet of judgment. He notes that he’s not yet been contacted. Whew. Now, before this gets out of hand, I’m going to pull out the speech I give my girlfriends when they’re ogling a big ol’ chunk of sleaze at the end of the bar, with some slight modifications:
Sweetie, look at me. That guy is wearing sunglasses inside. And a Hawaiian shirt… in Brooklyn. And it’s not even ironically. Look, even the bartender judges on The Voice are concerned about you.
Do you want to become that girl, the barfly
America’s Got Talent? Remember what happened to that girl from college Howard Stern? She He had a burgeoning career ahead of her making people uncomfortable. She He was living the dream. Don’t make me watch you become that girl America’s Got Talent. You’re better than that. And while we’re at it, put that Long Island Iced Tea down stop eyeing Mariah Carey, too.
All jokes aside, adding someone like Sheen or any judge chosen merely by the luster of their famous name is a dangerous choice for Idol. It’s the original. It’s the standard. And if it starts playing the petty games that every other talent show plays, it will lose its last piece of connection to its core. Without that core, the series’ 11-year veterans and super fans may be forced to check out, and its last remaining hook will have snapped.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
[Image: Daily Celeb]