So, they’ve finally locked in the new judges panel for the upcoming thousandth season of American Idol.
Randy Jackson is returning, and that’s a smart move on the producers’ part. To get rid of every single piece of the show’s legacy would be a mistake. I know they want to evolve and switch things up so that the show feels new and fresh, but they need to retain a piece of the original judges, or they risk it not even feeling like American Idol anymore.
The three new additions…well, they’re interesting. Mariah Carey totally makes sense. She’s a legend–having dabbled in pop, R&B, and hip-hop–and she’s talented, and she knows what it takes to make it big in the industry. Granted, her career has been more quiet since her peak in the 90’s and early 2000’s, but she’s still Mariah Carey and people still love her. Nicki Minaj was a very random choice. She’s a chart-topper right now, but it still remains to be seen whether she’s got “staying power.” They said they chose her to cover the R&B/hip-hop genre of music, but lately, she seems more of a techno artist than anything else. Maybe they felt she’d attract a younger crowd, but I don’t think the show had any difficulty with holding the attention of the young ones. Keith Urban…is not going to work. I am unashamed to profess my undying love for country music, but early choice Brad Paisley would have been a far more stellar selection. Keith Urban is incredibly talented, but I don’t think he has the personality to resonate with American Idol. Also, it’s debatable whether women swoon over him the way they do over Brad Paisley, so producers hoping to take in new audience members based on Urban’s good looks may be in for a surprise.
In short, I think this is the most diverse panel American Idol has ever had, but I’m skeptical as to how the four of their very different personalities will mesh.
How about you guys? Do you think producers nailed it with the choices?