Late last night, we learned Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi were leaving from American Idol and speculations as to their replacements immediately began. Ellen wasn’t particularly musical and some argue the show suffered from that, so chances are her stand-in will be another figure in the field. As to what’s wanted from Kara’s replacement, it’s hard to say, because she seemed to (at least in my opinion) spend her time on the show trying to figure out what kind of judge she wanted to be, and only occasionally coaching contestants on their musicality. Whereas Simon concentrated on the big picture, DioGuardi chose to focus on the minor things, like song choices and pitch, which were either validated or nullified by Simon’s broader reach. In either case, hopefully producers will choose someone who can hold their own against the highlight of Simon’s absence.
So who are the candidates? An NYPost article highlights a few: two prominent ones are J.Lo and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. As much as it pains me to say it, J.Lo might actually be a decent judge. She’s been in the industry for so long, in so many different capacities (she moved up the ranks after she started as a back up dancer) that she must be able to recognize talent when she sees it. However, she doesn’t strike me as someone who’d be willing to bench her career or her family for the sake of giving someone else a chance in the spotlight that she very clearly wants to only be on her.
In terms of Steven Tyler, he’s also a head honcho. He’s had quite the career and probably wouldn’t be threatened by all the talented newbies that’d be paraded before him, which would probably mean it’d be easy for him to give good, legitimate critiques. However, I feel like he’d be quite unpredictable and producers would often be scrambling to find a replacement for him, should he get to bed late or simply forget about his commitment.
Other possibilities include Shania Twain, Diddy (who said on Lopez Tonight that he would “love the job” and that if he could make what Simon made, he would “have a ball.” Of the two of them, I’d pick Shania Twain because I would think producers would consider Diddy as too much of a wild card. He would, however, almost guarantee high ratings.
So who’ll it be? We’ll just have to wait and see. I’m sure the decision will come fairly quickly, as just a few days ago we didn’t even know DeGeneres was dissatisfied with her schedule. But someone’s gotta be up for the job…especially the moment they check their account balances.