Film and TV

Who Will the New American Idol Judges Be?

Another one bites the dust for American Idol...or two, that is. Late last week aging rocker Steven Tyler announced that he would be trading in his tickets to Hollywood to "bring Rock Back" (but can he bring 1978 back?). Tyler and his group Aerosmith are releasing a new album this fall, which this exit is surely going to assist in album sales.

No less than four days later, American Idol's other star judge, Jennifer Lopez, announced that she too would be biting the hand the fed her and departing from the hit show. Lopez says that her decision is multifaceted, but one major factor is that she is "an actress" and needs to get back to her chosen craft. Lopez's films include Maid in Manhattan and The Wedding Planner.

To many, the exodus of these two judges, who both held the post for two years, comes as no surprise. Some are even applauding the duo's departure. Kevin Fallon, writing for The Atlantic, says that the show will be that much better off without them stating, "...Idol should count itself lucky that its judges are leaving."

Whether you loved them or hated them, Tyler and Lopez's send-off leaves two very big seats to fill, and the million-dollar question is who will the new judges be?

Over the course of American Idol's history, it has seen its fair share of judges and they all brought different viewpoints to the table and had their different individual reasons for leaving, as well as reasons for being on the show in the first place. So, which type of judge will they rustle up next and who will it be? Let's take a wild guess!

The Old School Musician

For AI, Tyler brought some draw to the show. The guy is a living legend, and his crowd skews older and more rock. For Tyler, AI brought him some new, young fans, which will no doubt help his upcoming record sales. Tyler's biggest flub as a judge was that he was too dang nice. Can he say something nasty about anyone? At all?

The producers will need an aging rocker who is still mildly relevant but could use a good boost in career, one who knows how to show them who's boss. There is no one better for this job than Weird All Yankovic. He has based his career on slamming others and he happens to be an incredibly talented musician. Who wouldn't tune in for that premiere or at the very least DVR it or watch clips online?

The Pop Star Who Needs a Comeback

J-Lo stumbled upon American Idol at the perfect time in her life. She was coming out of a divorce, she had a new album to promote and for some reason Fiat thought her best to sell its Italian sports cars. American Idol was the butter on her proverbial bagel. It's only natural that since her career is on an upswing, she would bail. She just starred in the universally lauded panned hit What to Expect When You Are Expecting; she's on a roll.

So which semi-relevant pop star could use the attention of one of television's most watched shows? Paris Hilton. Do not say that Paris Hilton isn't a pop star, because she did have one song that came out that time. Plus, she's starting to resurface, DJing at clubs spinning that one song of hers. Additionally, Hilton comes pre-built with her own patented catchphrase.

The Rando

When it was announced that comedienne Ellen DeGeneres would be playing the part of judge, head scratching was the natural reaction. Huh? What did she know about judging a singing competition? Apparently she didn't know much or she didn't want to have anything to do with the show, because her random stint lasted one short season.

If American Idol is looking to go for the totally unsystematic angle, the obvious choice would be Richard Simmons. Simmons is a natural on camera, has a way with people and he can get a little sassy when he wants to.

The Real Judge

No one was crazy about Kara DioGuardi as a judge on AI and for no good reason, it seems. DioGuardi left after two seasons, citing that her life was just getting too "complicated" to be on the show. What she brought to the show that most of the other judges have not was an honest career in the music business, writing and producing hits. She should have been the best judge, but sometimes personality gets in the way of talent.

Who might American Idol find with a strong footing in the music biz and an all-around good personality? Russell Simmons is just the guy to get the job done. If Russell and Richard Simmons are both judges on the show, then J Leno's repertoire of jokes just got awesome.

Whoever the new judge will be, there is no doubt that Randy will tough it out and never stop calling people "dawgs."

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig