This year marked the turn-around of the American Idol judges as Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joined the popular panel alongside Randy Jackson , while longtime American Idol veteran Simon Cowell and songwriter Kara Dioguardi exited the show to focus on other endeavors. Many critics have contested the new line-up of judges, not being familiar with the extensive backgrounds and knowledge of each judge. Many question the new panel’s skills as judges and wonder if they will help the reality show gain ratings as when the show originally aired.
Jennifer Lopez, the most talked-about new judge of American Idol, has an extensive background in performance and style. Lopez has extensive knowledge in expertise in music, film, and the fashion industry. Lopez first appeared as back-up dancer on other major artists’ tours and music videos. In 1993, Lopez appeared as a dancer in R&B singer Janet Jackson’s music video to “That’s the Way Love Goes“. She also appeared as a regular dancer as part of the “Fly Girls” on the popular sketch comedy show In Living Color in the 90s. In 1997, Lopez received high praise and accolades for her portrayal of “Selena” in the non-fictional based story about the life and death of the popular Tejano music sensation. Two years later Jennifer Lopez would release her debut music album On The 6, which featured the popular dance tracks “If You Had My Love” and “Waiting for Tonight“. She would go on to release 5 additional albums throughout the decade, with all albums being certified Platinum. In 2003, while in the midst of her musical singing career, Lopez launched her own clothing line named JLO by Jennifer Lopez. In 2005, Lopez made her debut as a fashion designer when her clothing line made its entrance onto the New York Fashion Week runway. Lopez had a successful six-year run with her popular Cuban Restaurant named Madre’s in Pasadena, California. Lopez currently owns Nuyorican Productions, which helped produce films such as “BorderTown” and “Feel The Noise” featuring R&B singer Omarion. In an interview with People Magazine, Lopez recently stated she was going to give American Idol, “…my whole heart, soul, and passion…“
Steven Tyler, lead singer/musician for popular Rock group Aerosmith, has more of a singer/songwriter perspective for American Idol. With a career spanning over 35 years, Tyler has gained much recognition and awards for his musical contributions. Tyler, along with the other band members of Aerosmith, have been highly recognized for their songwriting techniques, musical sounds, and live performances. Throughout Aerosmith’s musical career, Steven Tyler helped the band achieve notable status by writing and collaborating with the band members on various tracks for all 14 albums released. Tyler was the sole songwriter for the band’s first Billboard Top 10 hit “Dream On” and for the track “S.O.S.(Too Bad)“. Tyler co-wrote several songs on the band’s albums including, “Walk This Way“, “Sweet Emotion“, and “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)“. Steven Tyler had several acting gigs on popular movies and commercial gigs including the popular animated Christmas movie “The Polar Express“, and the 2004 film “Goodnight, Joseph Parker“. Tyler was featured on a Gap commercial, while also making a special guest appearance on the CBS family sitcom “Two and a Half Men“. In 2003, Tyler received an Honorary degree from Berklee College of Music. Two years later, Tyler would go on to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Through the live broadcast on Fox, as the judges were announced, Steven Tyler stated that being a judge on the show is “…being a part of something much bigger than yourself…“
The talent and expertise from the new judges alongside longtime American Idol judge Randy Jackson will help the reality competition soar to new heights when Season 10 begins January 2011.