The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Is Jennifer Lopez too much of a diva for 'American Idol'?

August 11, 2010 | 12:20 pm

J lopez People magazine's website is reporting that Jennifer Lopez won't be a judge on "American Idol" because (gasp!) she's too much of a diva. The magazine quotes a source saying the deal to bring her on board the show fell apart when "her demands got out of hand. Fox just had enough." The network is apparently still mulling over bringing in Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, but it's looking at other potential candidates as well.

If true, this is hardly a shocker, since J Lo is notorious for having extravagant demands for her backstage comfort and luxury. News surfaced, for example, that when she did a video shoot for a charity benefit, producers had to agree to provide her with a 40-foot trailer with two doors, a "hair" sink, TV and DVD, as well as an additional dressing room painted white with white curtains, white furniture, white flowers, white candles, and, of course, a pile of white linen sheets.

Of course, if Fox goes with Tyler, the network could run up against similarly excessive needs. Rock stars have put all sorts of oddball demands into their contract riders, most famously when Van Halen insisted that promoters provide the band with a bowl of M&Ms, with the brown ones removed. Aerosmith wasn't so much better. The band's 1997 contract rider called for a pair of communal dressing rooms that could be "secluded" from each other, which would be carpeted and outfitted "in such a fashion as to conceal the industrial locker room nature of the environment."

The band also insisted on no Wonder Bread at its snack bar. Tyler had such a reputation for bad-boy behavior backstage that when the Dixie Chicks were asked why they brought in their own dressing room furniture (at their expense, it should be noted) for their concerts, Natalie Maines explained, "You don't know what Steven Tyler's done on that couch, so you want your own."

So I'm guessing Fox may be dealing with diva demands no matter who it ends up hiring as an "American Idol" judge. Personally, I'd love it if they brought in Betty White, but who knows what she might demand--a bevy of scantily clad young men to bring her Snickers bars?  

Photo: Jennifer Lopez doing publicity for her latest film, "The Back-up Plan," in Spain earlier this year. Credit: Victor R. Caivano / Associated Press