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Should 'American Idol' keep this season's judges panel intact?

IDOL_Judge2 Being a judge on "American Idol" may seem like a pretty cushy job, but for former "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, sitting at that table was "torture."

"As far as I'm concerned, 'American Idol' Season 8 might as well have been called 'Survivor,'" she writes of her first season on the show in her new book, "A Helluva High Note: Surviving Life, Love and 'American Idol.'" "Every moment was mentally, physically and emotionally challenging. Every old fear or insecurity about the way I looked, what I said and who I was leaped to the forefront of my mind before each show. ... It was torture."

Though DioGuardi told Matt Lauer on "Today" Tuesday that she now has "nothing but love" for the show, for a while there, she admitted, she felt like she'd been "thrust into the homes of millions of people" and was ill prepared to handle the pressures of the job. What's more, she said, because the "Idol" producers didn't do a good job explaining to viewers why she was suddenly being plunked down in the middle of a judging panel -– then Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul -– that had an existing chemistry, "Idol" fans didn't exactly embrace her.

"It was like I broke up the Beatles," DioGuardi told Lauer.

Speaking of judging panels, chemistry and breakups, there's been some fearful chatter recently about whether the current "Idol" panel -– Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez -– will stay intact next season. Tyler has signed on for more than one season, EW.com reports, and Jackson doesn't show any sign of leaving. But Lopez, who reportedly signed a contract committing her only to the current season, is shopping around a new reality talent show with her husband, Marc Anthony, in which the couple will travel around Latin America looking for heretofore-unknown musical talent.

Will it prevent her from returning to "Idol" next year?

Given that Lopez's and Antony's new show -– working title: "Que Viva" -– is, according to EW, being undertaken in conjunction with "Idol" producer Simon Fuller and XIX Entertainment, and that Jackson has been able to work on other reality TV projects (MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew") while continuing to pass judgment on "Idol," it's probably safe to say that Lopez could return if she wanted to.

Does she?

"I don't know if I will do another season," she recently told Showbiz Spy. "I'm taking it day by day at the moment and we'll see what happens."

She did tell Ryan Seacrest, however, that she's "open" to the possibility of an "Idol" return.

What do you think? Are you loving the judges' chemistry this season? Would you like to see Jackson, Tyler and Lopez all return next year? Or would you rather see the "Idol" producers shake up the mix a little bit? Do we need more mean (a la Cowell)? Or are you loving the new nice? Curious to hear your thoughts.

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Left to right, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest and judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson. Credit: Tony Duran / Fox

 
Comments () | Archives (17)

I absolutely love the show this season and the judges. I think all three of them together are great. I was reluctant to watch this season because I did not think the show would be good without Cowell, but I have actually liked it better and I have heard the same point of view from other friends who watch.

I hope that Jennifer Lopez will stay. I think she is absolutely beautiful inside and out. I think all three judges are giving critical advice where it is necessary to help the contestants--not just being nice. I am also a big fan of Steven Tyler. This show has made me just love him more because we have gotten to see what a big heart this ultimate rocker has.

I hope they continue with the path they are taking now, but I have to admit that I miss the theme nights. I would like to see the contestants being forced to sing out of their comfort zones a little more.

I love the judges this season and I think they all have a great chemistry. HOWEVER, I think it would be great to see American Idol keep Randy (for originality purposes) and change up on the celeb judges each season! Some suggestions are Jamie Foxx & Christina Aguilera or Prince & Beyonce or Marc Anthony & Whitney Houston...those would be FUN TO WATCH!!!!

When has this current panel ever judged, except for gushing over every performance and telling all the contestants how great they are.

What show has slackergirl been watching, when exactly has this pathetic panel ever criticized any of these wannabes.

This show a JOKE this year.

I might start watching if Randy goes off.

As long as Steven stays I will be happy. I was very pleasantly surprised by him ( having not been a fan per se).He has won me over with his integrity, kindness, talent & knowledge and his unmatched charisma!!

This is the best season I have ever watched. I love the three judges just perfectly as they are! If they don't come back I may have to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel! Everything about the show is better this year! I am hooked and watch taped episodes while waiting for next week! Yikes this season is even more addictive than Adam Lambert 8 was! I have had to erase 2009 episodes to make room for more 2011 on my recorder. Randy, Jennifer, Stephen, please come back! I agree with Slackergirl 100%. These judges bring America's heart and sole to American Idol.

I like Randy and Tyler to stay. But I do not like Jennifer Lopez that much as among all goo female singers, why JLo?? We always say 'best package' or that Xfactor.. yeah yeah JLo has the looks and can act, dance and sing. But we should know the bottom line is this is what American Idol is all about - the VOICE or finding that singer who can really sing and not being mediocre or just can sing. I really wish Mariah Carey could be the judge. Even Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper are better choices than Jlo or Madonna or Justin Bieber.

I like it like it is, with the exception of Randy. I thought I wanted him to return this year, but I am becoming "bored" (to use his term) with his loudness and attempt to take over the judging.

I have to agree w/"my thoughts" & Elizabth J about Randy Jackson,he irrates me to no end,he's an old man that talks like he's a 20 yr.old rap star,he's produced some succesful albums,key word is produced, he pushes buttons,he talks like he knows it all,u ever notice that when Steven steals the lime light Randy has to either stand up & try to out do him or make a scene when Steven cusses,what made Randy tolerable & likable was Simon,now we have other people not to hate. Move on Randy!

At times the many times we've seen Jimmy Iovine, you would almost think that he's the "tough" judge. Almost like he, or Will I Am is being groomed.

Also, in another article it was suggested that song downloads should be considered with votes. After all, this is a way to build a following that votes AND buys songs. When I do a search on youtube, it seems alot of the times, when all contestant songs are posted by the same uploader, Haley is often most downloaded or at least the top 50%, but poor girl is always in the bottom 3. :P

Go Haley!!! One week at a time, Carol King week is your meaty fast ball to top five. Hit it out of the park!!

I say dump Steven. He is absolutely no help to a contestant whatsoever. If they could somehow land Harry Connick Jr. He could add a world of personality, humor, and competent advice. Just my opinion though. And you know what they say about opinions....

I was taken back by Steven Tyler's presence and charm on the show. It would be interesting to see if he can still keep it fresh in another season. He lends a real sense of credibility to AI. My only criticism of him is that he tends to drop the f-bomb and doesn't need to do that to get attention because he clearly has genuine charm which could get him more positive attention. So, as long as Steven Tyler sticks around, the rest of the panel does not matter as much.

I miss Simon Cowell!! Even though some of the singers are good, there's never any criticism of anybody, it's just boring to see all this effusiveness every single show. I like Steven, he seems to be a really down-to-earth guy and JLo just takes over the judging. As for Seacrest, he's the worst interviewer ever, his questions are always the same, he has nothing new, he's just irrelevant, though he thinks he's the show. I say get rid of him and find someone likable and funny like Tom Bergeron.

DUMP JENNIFER PLEASE HER LOVE FOR SELF IS ANNOYING ! BESIDES SHE WON'T BE BACK SHE NEEDED THE EXPOSURE THAT WAS HER INTENTION ... MISSION ACCOMPLISHED SHES BACK IN THE GAME SMART MOVE JLO.

JUDGING OR CHEERLEADING:


Crying, hugging, kissing ... Its a whole new IDOL.

J-Lo on Naima Adedapo: "You're like an exotic flower."
Tyler: "The way you brought it was just unbelievable."

Tyler on Kendra Chantelle: "You're the whole package."
J-Lo: "Amazing."

J-Lo on Karen Rodriguez: "Wow, wow. That says it all."
Tyler: "I think you're fantastic."

Tyler on Lauren Turner: "That was spectacular."
J-Lo: "Your voice is undeniable."

J-Lo on Ashton Jones: "Your confidence is breath-taking."
Tyler: "You've got the confidence of a queen and you sing so good."

Tyler on Haley Reinhart: "Just great. I liked it a lot."
J-Lo: "I agree with Steven."

J-Lo on Thia Megia: "Really special."
Tyler: "Your pitch is so perfect, it doesn't matter what you sing."

Tyler on Lauren Alaina: "You don't even have to try. It's amazing how much of a natural you are."
J-Lo: "You kill me. I love you. You're the best."

J-Lo on Pia Toscano: "Out of this world."
Tyler: "Unbelievable. Gorgeous. Congratulations."

THIS YEAR - ALL THE CONTESTANTS WON. ITS OVER ACCORDING TO JudgeJenny and Tyler

This is not judging. It is cheerleading.
Thanks Tom of Sun!


I want J Lo to stay!!! I think the 3 judges were a good team and picked the best talent ever. JLo's critique is the best, constructive and she's in charge. Love that it's not about thrashing or embarassing performers. Randy doesn't say dog as much, so that's a positive as well.

I THINK THE JUDGES ARE PERFECT.STEVEN TYLER SHOWS EMOTION, PLUS HE GIVES HIS VAST EXPERIENCE IN THE MUSIC SCENE. JENNIFER LOPEZ SHOWS THE COMPASION, AS WELL AS THE EXPERIENCE TO HELP GUIDE CONTESTANTS IN THE COMMING WEEKS. I HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED RANDY JACKSON.AGAIN, HIS EXPERIENCE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, SPANDS NOT ONLY VOCALS, BUT MUSICIANSHIP AS WELL. THERE IS FINALLY CREDIBLE JUDGES, INSTEAD CELEBS WHO KNOW LITTLE OR NOTHING ABOUT JUDGING MUSICAL TALENT.I HAVE WATCHED EVERY SEASON, EVERY NIGHT. I THINK YOU NEED TO KEEP THIS LEVEL OF JUDGES IF I AM TO CONTINUE.THE TALEND PICKED SHOULD SPEAK FOR ITSELF.T.J.A.


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