Over a week ago the celebrity panel of judges for the upcoming reboot of American Idol on ABC was finalized, leaving us with a group consisting of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. Additionally, former host Ryan Seacrest will also be returning to helm the show, which is set to air next year. I’ve been pushing off really getting into analyzing this cast for a while now, and now that I finally have some free time I’m going to be delving deep and sharing all my thoughts.
Contrary to what many fans have been saying, I’m actually kind of okay with this panel. It’s not the best group by any means, and most of these people aren’t anywhere near what I would have gone with, but there is definitely room to work with and at least some potential. Though there is a small part of me that would’ve liked to see Keith Urban back, I can understand the producer’s decision to try and distance itself from the show’s previous panels and start things on ABC with a fresh slate. The best decision they made though was keeping around Ryan Seacrest, as losing him would have been catastrophic. The sigh of relief I breathed when I heard the news was enormous, as finally I felt like the show might have a chance of working. On the flip side, by far the worst decision the producers made was forking over $25 million dollars to get Katy Perry on board, which I’m not even going to try to defend. Idol really didn’t need that controversy, or the negative press that came with it. There’s basically nothing left of the poor budget now, and I feel bad for the contestants who will be suffering for it. All I can say is I hope they like eating pretzels for every meal.
I think my favorite judge on this panel is Lionel Richie. In addition to being a fan of him and his music, I feel that he is by far the most insightful person of the three. The dude has been through it all, and I think his advice should be heavily weighed by contestants. I did an entire post about my thoughts on Luke Bryan, which you can check out HERE, and stand by my decision to reserve judgement on him until we can see him in action. Ironically, the person on the panel who is paid the most is also the one I’d switch out if it were up to me. However, the papers have been signed, so Katy better deliver something special that will make her paycheck worth it. If she’s a dud, like Britney Spears was on The X Factor, we’ll be looking back at this decision as the biggest waste of money in the show’s history. I weep for my unanswered prayers of Sara Bareilles ever becoming an Idol judge.
Despite the narrative the press is trying to sell, Idol is a show that is not about celebrities. It’s about watching faces in the crowd get their chance at superstardom and giving viewers a chance to follow them on their journeys. All the judges really need to do is occasionally offer up smart critiques and try not to be a camera hog *cough, Harry Connick Jr., cough.* I just hope when the show starts that the judges will allow themselves to take a backseat so the contestants can shine, because if not I might as well just change channels and watch The Voice.
So those are my thoughts on the judges. What are yours? Who is your favorite judge on the panel? Is there a certain celebrity in mind that you think would’ve made a good judge on Idol? Let me know in the comments below.
Until we meet again in another post, later!