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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • The Farr Side: Judging 'American Idol'

  • Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will surely be missed when "American Idol" returns in January for Season 13. Both announced they were leaving to get back to their careers.
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  • Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will surely be missed when "American Idol" returns in January for Season 13. Both announced they were leaving to get back to their careers.
    Tyler's Aerosmith is readying a new album and tour, while Lopez's career is hotter than ever - thanks to "Idol."
    Critics are quick to say the show has seen its day, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel. The debate is on about who should fill their seats.
    Ratings aren't what they once were, but the show is still pulling in about 20 million viewers. The problem is that the show's demographics have tilted, appealing to younger viewers. That can spell trouble with advertisers.
    A clean slate is always good, in this case, new judges. But why not a whole revamp of the show? Perhaps Randy Jackson's dawg days are over. I'm thinking he should go, too. It's time, don't you think?
    For credibility purposes, whoever sits in the judges' seats ought to be worthy. Tyler and Lopez did a good job, but it may not have been enough. I think it would be better if the judges had more of a role that allowed time to work with the contestants.
    Rumors are already circulating as to possible candidates for the judging spots including some major names and former "AI" finalists. Some of the stars in contention include Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Marc Anthony, Pink, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Shania Twain, Adam Lambert and Kelly Clarkson.
    If I had to choose from that list, Bon Jovi and Carey would be logical choices. Each has credibility, but are they too much like Tyler and Lopez? I can see both appealing to the demographic that's wandered away from the show, more so than if it were Justin Timberlake or Pink. However, I think they'd do just as well.
    Twain is locked into a Vegas stint, and with Anthony there'd be baggage issues.
    My hope is Lambert and Clarkson are passed over. I don't believe it's a good idea for either one, especially Clarkson, who was the first "Idol" winner and has remained the most successful to date. I'd like for her to stay that way. "Duets" has been a disaster.
    Aretha Franklin has tossed her name into the pool, too. There's a woman who commands R.E.S.P.E.C.T. But let's not forget the likes of Cher, Stevie Nicks or Janet Jackson. Perhaps Lionel Richie or John Mellencamp. Prince would be awesome.
    Singers make great judges, but I'd like to see someone who's made a career out of making other people famous - someone like Babyface or David Foster.
    The voting mechanism needs to be revamped more than anything. It's ruining the show. It's more like a popularity contest for who is the cutest boy, whether he can sing or not. A voting cap per phone line could bring back legitimacy.
    Page 2 of 2 - "Idol's" future might be in limbo, but its track record for producing talented stars remains good. Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips is well on his way to becoming a star, something "The Voice" and "X-Factor" have yet to do.
    David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. Email him at farrboy@hotmail.com.
     
     
     
     
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