As “American Idol” counts down to its tenth season, major changes have been announced. Veteran judge Randy Jackson will be joined by music industry superstars Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler and executive Jimmy Iovine will be a part of the lucky contestants’ lives.
These changes also mean improvements for the millions of fans who watch the show every week.
Finally a REAL Mentor for Idol Hopefuls
Jimmy Iovine has been brought into the “American Idol” Season 10 family as an in-house mentor. While this sadly means the end of such “distinguished” mentors as Miley Cyrus for the contestants, it also means they will receive some real guidance that can’t be found in a five-minute photo-op with the celebrity of the week.
During the press conference, Iovine drove home the point that this year will be different and that the hopefuls would actually be mentored throughout the run. “They’re going to be brought in every week for two or three days and work with guys like Timbaland and Polo and myself to a certain extent.”
This is how recording artists are created. Jimmy Iovine has engineered albums for Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon, produced for Stevie Nicks and U2 and his company Interscope Geffen A&M Records counts Sheryl Crow, Eminem and Lady Gaga among its artists.
The End of the Cougar Judge
Did anyone at home truly enjoy Kara DioGuardi drooling over Casey James during Season 9? Yes, he was pretty easy on the eyes but DioGuardi’s cougar act as a newlywed was boring and distracting.
It’s hard to envision Jennifer Lopez flirting with any of the contestants while Marc Anthony is waiting at home with the kids.
Twangy Beatles OUT
The Beatles did a great cover of Buck Owens’ chart-topping “Act Naturally”. The song was a great fit for Ringo Starr and fans loved it. Those same fans still have nightmares when they are reminded of Kristy Lee Cook’s version of “Eight Days a Week” in 2008.
The end of “American Idol” theme weeks and letting the contestants pick a genre to develop throughout the season might also eliminate any future Danny Gokey-esque “Dream On” screams.
A Little More Action?
“American Idol’s” ninth season was boring. None of the contestants stepped outside of their comfort zone creatively or in their performances. Crystal Bowersox had an amazing voice and while very few would ever imagine her dancing like Beyonce, it’s not impossible to walk around with that guitar.
Executive Producer Ken Warwick was bored, too. “They need to present themselves a lot better, for instance, than they did last year. We’ve got, as producers, to be honest, sick to death of them standing there, hiding behind a guitar and just ‘Sing, sing, sing a lang.’ And we say, ‘Next week is rock week.’ ‘Oh, great, rock week, and they’re jang a lang, same thing.”
Fans shouldn’t expect an Usher-style extravaganza every week but it seems like American Idol producers understand they need to take it up a notch. Now, if they could just do something about those corny choreographed lip-synched group numbers.
Sources: Season 10 Team Press Conference ; American Idol Rock Night Review: Final Four