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Is Steven Tyler, new 'American Idol' judge, dissing Simon Cowell?

Steventyler Steven Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman embarking on a new phase of his career with "American Idol," says you can forget about him trying to be the new Simon Cowell.

"I'm not going in there to be a harsh judge or an overly bearing judge," Tyler said Tuesday in a phone call with reporters. "I'm not bringing my grumpiness ... and letting that cloak how I judge the kids."

Hmm. Harsh, grumpy, overbearing. Sounds like a certain British music impresario who likes flattop haircuts, tight T-shirts and sneaking cigarettes during commercial breaks.

During the audition phase, Tyler added, "I made some harsh comments first week .... I only did two of those because I didn't want that to happen again."

Indeed, self-doubt hasn't troubled his mind since. "I think I'm going to take it up a notch," Tyler said of "Idol" judging. "For all the videos I've done, I figured I'd be a shoo-in."

Tyler also reiterated what he told Howard Stern on the radio, that the "Idol" gig wouldn't interfere with a planned Aerosmith reunion. The group is already writing new songs and has booked tour dates later this year, although Tyler told Stern he communciates with guitarist Joe Perry only via text. The two have had a legendarily acrimonious relationship.

Viewers can expect Tyler to be an "Idol" fixture for a while. "I have more than a one-year contract, but as you know, things are what they are," he said. "Can I elaborate? No, I can't."

"American Idol" premieres Wednesday.

What do you think of Tyler's hiring? Is it a stroke of genius or the first step in a "Bring back Simon" movement?

— Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Steven Tyler begins his "American Idol" stint. Credit: David Becker/Getty Images.

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

"Overly bearing?"

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.

I'm not sure they can make it without Simon Cowell but I agree that the biggest problem is that lately they aren't producing stars let alone superstars. They need to find someone along the lines of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry quick.

@chris taus"Stars like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry"? You can call Carrie a star because in Country the audience is totally devoted and Idol-like. Clarkson and Daughtry aren't "stars", they sell units but nobody considers them "stars". The closest thing to a "star" they've found is Lambert, who won't be mainstream "star" because he's not mainstream. You should know there's an Idol stigma in radio, tv and in the industry.

Steven Tyler was brilliant, funny, and entertaining. The right balance of music knowledge and charisma. Jennifer Lopez was sweet, knowledgeable, and entertaining. Randy is the anchor.


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