The latest rumor swirling around American Idol is that the woman with a closet full of saran wrap dresses and hair big enough to hide one of Joshua Ledet’s gospel choirs is leaving the series. It’s being reported that Jennifer Lopez, Queen of Goosies, may be giving her last hyperbolic standing ovation come May 23. But the big question is: How is this giant wrench in our Idol-loving lives going to affect us? From where I sit, Lopez leaving can only have one direct effect: A new judge and another squawking figurehead to detract from the important part, which is the irrational bond we form with the contestants. Please, Fox. Hold off on replacing Lopez. Come on, we can talk about this first.
Exhibit A: According to the report that states J.Lo is leaving, a big reason for the departure is that her international tour overlaps with Idol’s audition circuit. This roadblock has a very, very simple fix: Bring back the celeb guest judges during auditions. Watching Katy Perry and Neil Patrick Harris try to wrap their heads around this ridiculous process was the best thing about Season 9, aside from the wonder of Casey James’ flowing blond locks. So luxurious. Plus, if any piece of the Idol puzzle needs a cup of coffee, or an adrenaline boost, or hell, even one of those three-foot long Pixie Sticks, it’s the auditions. Why don’t we give Lopez her tour time, leave her seat open and have a little fun with this part?
Exhibit B: If Lopez actually leaves and is replaced by some last-minute, out of work pop star stand-in like Nelly Furtado or one of those *NSYNC marionettes from the early 2000s, we will be forced to spend the first 23 episodes of the season getting to know the new judge. And while that sizable chunk of the brain is formulating thoughts like “Marionette Joey Fatone is going too easy on that beat-boxing teen from Minnesota?” we will be losing valuable contestant and viewer bonding time. And in a landscape of singing competition series that are chained to the notion that the judges are the stars, being able to focus on Idol contestants is a weekly luxury I, for one, am not willing to lose.
The defense rests its case! (Because the defense doesn’t exercise enough and she’s a little winded.) Fox, if Lopez is indeed too busy to waltz into the various hotel ballroom audition rooms alongside Randy and Steven, let’s take a moment and consider the aforementioned detrimental affects to the sanctity of the Idol process. It was painful to make the switch the first time (especially thanks to the awkward Kara DioGuardi years), so please don’t make us go through the judging merry go round again. Not yet, anyway.
Hollywood.com reached out to Fox regarding the validity of the Lopez reports and the network has yet to respond.
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