Who Will Judge American Idol In 2014?

by Noiz 13. May 2013 13:56

American Idol Judges:  Who Will Judge American Idol In 2014?

“Yo! Yo! Yo… I have decided to leave after this season.”

Using a classic phrase from his own personal lexicon, Randy Jackson announced his departure from American Idol.  Jackson was the last original arbitrator left on the popular Fox singing competition.  He served as an American Idol judge for a dozen years.  He’s leaving to focus on his company, Dream Merchant 21.

Before becoming a household name on American Idol, Jackson worked with a plethora of big name artists including Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, and Journey.  He’s been the recipient of a Grammy Award and was executive producer of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.  He released his first album, Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol., 1 in 2008. 

Jackson’s departure, as well as the rumored withdrawal of his three cohorts, begs the question: who will be the American Idol judges in 2014?

American Idol 2013
The 2013 season of American Idol was not a good one.  While the contestants, mainly the women, sang great, the spotlight seemed to perpetually shine on the judges—Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj.   Then again, when you’re a foursome getting paid $40 million collectively you’re going to attract a lot of attention (Carey $18 million, Minaj $12 million, Urban $6 million, and Jackson $4 million).

The panel had virtually no chemistry and superstar Carey brought little-to-nothing to the show.  When Carey and Minaj weren’t sniping at one another the latter was engaged in uncomfortable banter with Keith Urban.  The country music star didn’t know several popular songs performed by the contestants, Jackson’s feedback often contradicted itself, and Carey rambled on, either ignoring the performance or providing little in the way of constructive criticism.   

Minaj gave decent analyses when she wasn’t showing up late to live episodes.  She claimed she was stuck in Los Angeles traffic but when you’re a part of television’s number one rated show (or at least the former number one rated show) you make sure you’re there on time.  Obviously, she was not very committed to being an American Idol judge.

American Idol Judges
After Jackson announced his departure various internet sources said the other three judges were gone as well.  Meaning American Idol 2014 will have a completely new jury.  Then Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said the remaining American Idol judges “are welcome to return.” 

When asked to confirm the aforementioned reports of a mass judging exodus, Reilly only said “everything is on the table.”  He went on to say the judges will be welcomed back but the show will likely return to a trio of adjudicators.  

If we parse Reilly’s statement, what he’s really saying is we don’t want the judges back but we’re not going to say that because we don’t want to embarrass them.  Instead, we’ll just be very ambiguous about our intentions so Kree Harrison and Candice Glover can answer a bunch of question about the situation instead of answering question about themselves and their time on Idol.

American Idol Ratings
From 2003 through 2011, American Idol was television’s number one show.  Its eight seasons at number one is tops all-time.  For the 2011-2012 season, the show was usurped by Sunday Night Football.  This year, American Idol ratings are so bad it was beaten by a rerun of The Big Bang Theory.

American Idol Recap
So let’s recap.  This year’s American Idol has been marred by dysfunctional judges and low ratings.  Fox isn’t going to standby and do nothing with ratings down 22 percent.  The show is still doing well enough to avoid cancellation but it needs to do better—the franchise is just too important.  So, fans should expect big changes in 2014.  The only thing we can count on for the next American Idol is Ryan Seacrest.

American Idol Season 13
Clickitticket knows how to fix American Idol.  First and foremost, we have to start with the judges.  In a recent episode of The Office, character Andy Bernard tries out for an American Idol-like singing competition that he says is different than A.I. because all the judges are mean. Now, the new American Idol judges don’t need to be mean but they do need to be truthful.  People sometimes confuse the two, but a judge adds nothing if they are afraid of hurting the competitors’ feelings. 

American Idol Results: How To Get Them
Although Jimmy Iovine is about as popular as a head cold, he would be a perfect full-time judge.   Another candidate American Idol should seriously consider is Harry Connick Jr.  He was great when he was the guest mentor when the four remaining contestants sang songs from the “Great American Songbook.”  He correctly called out Jackson for his misleading evaluations.  

Ultimately, picking judges based on their celebrity and/or the demographic they appeal to is a mistake.  This leads to the show having judges that are recognizable to young people but incapable of lodging truthful and cogent critiques.  That’s why the three new American Idol judges should be an executive, a producer, and a performer.

One judge should know the business end of selling albums.  Yes, I know we all wish music could just be about the art but let’s face it, these A.I. contestants have to be able to sell records.  Furthermore, a record executive is likely to tell a young singer the truth about their performance no matter how bad things get.

The Jimmy Iovine judge (although he’s a record executive too).  A record producer is used to working with singers and knows a lot about music and the industry.   They have great ears and usually good communication skills.  This type of judge is the one who says “you were pitchy” and “I just wasn’t feeling it.” 

The Harry Connick Jr. judge.  You can’t hold a singing competition and not have a judge that’s an actual singer.  Also, selecting a performer is a great way to appeal to a target demo.  Only one problem, young singers are usually busy with their own careers or not very good in first place.  Again, we implore Idol producers to forget about appealing to youngsters and go with an accomplished singer who knows the craft.

Alternative Idol
We have another suggestion when it comes to hiring the new American Idol judges and that’s consider inking deals with alternative artists like Jeff Tweedy, Ben Gibbard, M. Ward, or Chan Marshall.  It’s doubtful one of the aforementioned artists would sign on the dotted line but being on American Idol would give them more exposure than they’ve ever had in their entire career.  Best of all, it would bring an edge to show.  An alternative artist might not pay off in the short term but they would in the long run.  You’d certainly be able to hire them for a lot less then you’re paying the current batch of judges.

American Idol Voting
Who would you vote for to judge American Idol?  Would you go with a no-name industry insider?  Or do you like the big-time singers who are too sensitive to give constructive criticism?  Do you have a particular name in mind to judge America Idol or are you like us and just want someone who isn’t afraid to tell the truth?

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