Simon is blunt and mean but precise with his judgement. Randy is supportive and honest. Paula is a bit odd. Together, the three original “American Idol” judges made the show a hit. For six seasons, the show ruled the airways with its original judges providing advice, encouragement, and the occasional scathing critique.
And then everything changed.
Since its eighth season, “American Idol” has been playing the musical chairs (literally) with its judges.
Steven Tyler and Ellen DeGeneres each took a turn. So did Keith Urban (who is still there) and Nicki Minaj. And who could forget Mariah Carey, she who had very little to say and even less opinion?
Now, as “Idol” prepares to launch its 13th season, the question everyone is asking is: “Who should judge the show?”
Everyone has an opinion. Some say it needed a character like Simon who wasn’t afraid to mix things up. Others want star power and insist great musicians make the best judges. The truth is somewhere in between.
Here are three celebrities who should be hired as “American Idol” judges in the near future:
Before you roll your eyes and ask what the 1.5-hit singer-songwriter knows about finding the next “American Idol,” consider this: Perhaps no one in America knows more about making it big in the music industry than Jimmy Buffett.
Believe it or not, Buffett is a lot like today’s stars: He’s not the greatest singer or musician, but he certainly sells an image.
He’s been riding the wave of his laid-back beach bum image for about 40 years. He writes simple and catchy songs that resonate with people from all walks of life. He sells escape – via margaritas, faraway beaches where no one knows you and a slightly deviant, booze-filled lifestyle.
In other words, he’s like some of the top selling artists today. (Looking at you, Miley Cyrus). Buffett will bring something different to the judges’ table. He wouldn’t just focus on a singer’s singing ability. He will see the whole package – appearance, sentiment and possible license agreement. And, as artists like Justin Bieber and Colt Ford have demonstrated, selling an idea (even if it’s just a talent idea) is far more important than actually owning one.
Sure, he was a judge on “America’s Got Talent,” but he would be much better served (and viewers, too) if he was on “Idol.”
Stern is a self-made star (like Buffett), so he understands the hard work and dedication it takes to get to the top. He’s also been around forever, so he knows that bubblegum pop acts come and go, but the acts that superstardom bring something unique to the table – like Stern’s wit, honesty, and ability to remain likable even while tearing someone apart.
Stern can be mean, but he’s also a lot of fun. It’s a trait he shares with Simon Cowell and something “American Idol” really needs. If a player is terrible, the show needs someone to tell it, and not in a covert, passive-aggressive way. One has to be able to say, “You are terrible,” and then smile.
Stern can do that, especially when he’s listening to singers. It’s hard to take him seriously when he comments about someone juggling chainsaws on babies on Talent. He should move to “Idol”.
George W. Bush
Think about it for a moment and it will make sense. The former president probably isn’t really doing anything nowadays, except painting pictures of his dogs. Like Paula Abdul, she has a good heart and she is very funny without really trying to be funny. And whenever he’s on television, you never know what he’s going to say.
These are the three people “American Idol” had to hire as judges for great cable TV deals. Jimmy Buffett is a music industry veteran who knows what it takes to be a star. Howard Stern is an outspoken but likable judge who can thin a flock. And President George W. Bush was the good judge, caring, and supportive the show needed.