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Can 'American Idol' thrive without a mean judge?

AI "American Idol" returns Wednesday night for the first time without Simon -- and lately, there seems to be some confusion about who this season's mean judge will be. First, Ryan Seacrest called Jennifer Lopez "the mean one." Then Randy Jackson claimed he actually was the mean one. Then Steven Tyler said ... well, he said, "J. Lo is a fox!" But maybe he forgot the question?

Anyway, all of this got us thinking: Will "American Idol" even have a mean judge this season? And does it need a mean judge to survive? Read the answer to that question in this feature about mean reality show judges here.

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, left, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, and host Ryan Seacrest. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (3)

Question: Can American Idol survive without a mean one--Yes It Can I am watching now and I think this will be the best year yet.
I love Steven, Jennifer and Randy Great I have never laughed so much while watching.. Love the chemistry, Great Great Great!

They locked him into a multi-year contract, too? Didn't they learn anything from the Ellen disaster? Besides, I don't even expect Idol to finish out the season without Simon, so there was no point in contracting Tyler, a pitiful substitute for Simon, for more than one season.

The show probably lost a lot of audience because of Simon, but its gonna get new audience cause there is a lot of people that loves JLo and Steven Tyler and Randy. So i don't think is gonna be a crap, the show need it a change and its here so we are gonna have to see.


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