'American Idol' without Simon Cowell: Three reasons I'm optimistic about the show's future!

This just in: People are running wild in the streets, a chorus of hideous sobs and sirens as their cacophonous soundtrack. Okay, not really. But today’s newsbomb that Simon Cowell will not return to American Idol for its tenth season in 2011 has created tsunami-level waves in the pop-culture watercooler. I mean, heck, even if you’re not an Idoloonie, the fact that the Perennial Ratings Behemoth (TM) is losing its most famous, most polarizing, and most viewer-drawing judge is a big frakin deal, no? But hey, before we all officially declare Jan. 11, 2010 as the day the Idol died, let’s take a big, collective breath because I believe deep in my heart that the show can survive without the V-neck-loving Brit at its table. Consider my top three reasons:

1) Simon’s exit could lead to revamped and reinvigorated audition rounds. Let’s face it: Simon’s role on Idol is never more crucial than during the auditions — when audiences haven’t had time to get attached to any particular contestant(s), and the judges are the true stars of the show. Without Mr. Cranky, these particular episodes would need a drastic reboot — but then again, don’t they need a reboot already? Heading into season 9, is anyone excited about watching/listening to folks with delusions of being the next Kelly Clarkson as they warble their way through the Diane Warren songbook? Imagine this tweak to the formula: For three weeks (down from the typical four), Idol’s Tuesday-Wednesday audition shows could focus only on good-to-great vocalists, and give us a better understanding about which ones get Golden Tickets to Hollywood, and which get express passes to anonymity. Then, Fox runs a trio of special Friday-night episodes devoted to blood-curdlingly awful “singers” dressed in feathers, lycra, and statue-of-liberty crowns. After that, the show expands its always riveting “Hollywood Week” coverage from four episodes to six. That move would reduce the amount of “Which freakin’ holding room contains Leneshe Young!?” confusion. Plus, imagine if it all culminated in a live broadcast during which the judges revealed the season’s top 24 (excruciating live sing-offs included). Yeah, we’d miss us some Simon, but with all that drama and focus on future Carries and ‘Tasias and Cookies, not quite as much, right?

2) Idol‘s producers have never had a better excuse for some wholesale housecleaning behind the judges’ table! Seriously, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, is it possible you don’t believe there are at least a half-dozen smart, funny, telegenic music-label execs/record producers/A&R folks who’d be happy to steal Simon’s chair — and offer up critical, coherent, verbally sparkling feedback to the season 10 contestants? Such persons exist! I believe it as much as I believe there is a unicorn named Kradison with the magical power to make me feel like I’ve hit the MegaMillions every day of my life! (This unicorn, FYI, exists in my iPod under the labels “Kris Allen’s self-titled debut,” “For Your Entertainment,” and “Just Like You.“) And while the Idol Machine is shopping for Ellen DeGeneres’ chair-neighbor, wouldn’t it be great if it found new and improved substitutes for Randy “for me for you” Jackson and Kara “my God she’s getting a second season!” DioGuardi? Hey, as I’ve said in the past, it’s pure fiction that the American Idol judges’ table has room for only one person who doesn’t inspire nationwide DVR fast-forwarding. On Project Runway, I hang on every word that comes from Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, and (usually) the weekly guest judge. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for the same type of insight from the regular cast members of the No. 1 show on television.

3) If Idol is going to keep churning out radio-ready pop stars, it needs a tastemaker with modern tastes. I mean, in all seriousness, Simon’s unfiltered commentary and your-vocalizing-is-my-personal-hell stares make for great television, but it’s no secret his musical tendencies veer more toward the Righteous Brothers and Lulu than Lady Gaga and Owl City. As Idol approaches its teenage years, would it be the worst thing in the world to swap in a Pharrell Williams or a Linda Perry in place of the man who thinks Celine Dion’s diva showboating is the best possible form of song interpretation? I say, probably not!

What about you, Idol fans? Do you see any silver lining in today’s storm cloud of “Simon is LEAVING!” news? Can the show go on without its most famous face? Is it really about Mr. Cranky, or does Idol live and die by its contestants? And finally, are you following me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak? If not, what are you waiting for! The season 9 premiere of Idol is only…a day…awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy!

Image Credit: Michael Becker/Fox

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  • Stacey

    I think you are forgetting how much Simon matters to AI as a judge. If Randy went; no one would care. But Simon is who viewers listen to most of all. It might be able to last. And belittling Simon’s talent is stupid. Like him or hate him. He has manage to bring to the world alot of talent including Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle who sell CDs. American Idol won’t have the same level of success without Simon. I don’t think the show can last if whole original panel is replaced and certainty not Simon’s place…

    • Amy

      With Simon leaving, that’s the final nail in the Idol coffin. He’s cranky & mean, but the guy knows what he’s talking about!

      • Slick

        Naah. Simon still tends to go too easy on those he likes (until he gets ‘disappointed’ for their not ‘growing’ enough), and press too hard against those he doesn’t.

      • Nerio

        not only that, with the incoming of X Factor to America, that will definitely make the comparison between shows, and X Factor is way too much better show…

      • CHEYRL

        I NOW KNOW I WON’T WATCH IT……I THINK IF HE IS GONE THAT WILL BE THE BEST OF THE SHOW, PAULA GONE IS BAD ENOUGH, I HOPE IT GOES OFF THE AIR WITHOUT THE TWO OF THEM
        I’M NO LONGER PLANNING TO WATCH WITHOUT THE MAN THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO WATCH SIMON SORRY TO HEAR THAT……..

      • Cara

        Agreed. He’s the only one who gives the show any cred.

      • Chris P.

        Well I guess I’m watching X-Factor from now on. Simon made American Idol into the cultural force it is now and hopefully X-factor US can find some good singers; because the last good winner we had on AI was Carrie Underwood.

      • Idol8fan

        Simon has been good TV but an atrocious judge. Happy to see him go. Hopefully we will get somebody who can pay attention to the performances and be an impartial judge whose critique is supported by the evidence. No more pimping and slamming to fit an agenda.

      • Mo

        I agree that Simon has been good TV and a bad judge. Not to diminish what his personality has done to make the show the juggernaut that it is, but the man put Carmen Rasmussen through as his “judge’s pick” in season 2 (uggggghhhh) and gave Daughtry a big, definite “no” at his audition. I agree with Slezak that there must be a funny, personable and articulate music executive somewhere with better taste than Simon.

    • AcaseofGeo

      You’re absolutely right. I know it is at heart a talent show, but it is SIMON we care to hear year in and year out. Yes his tastes seem a bit outdated despite his musings on a contestant’s ability to be “current”. And, lets face it, IDOL is a TV show and not always a radio percursor anyway. Of the top 3 each year, less than half have made a dent on radio. This is all about the value of the TV SHOW aspect of IDOL, not its radio and sales value. And without Simon, its nothing. Already without Paula’s sweet lunacy, its already lost quite a bit of its water cooler value.

      • Amy

        Yep, you said it. It’s pretty much run it’s course & Simon is smart enough to recognize. Wonder if Paula will show up on his new show?

      • mysti

        Well said. I wish it wasn’t true, cuz this is my favorite show, but alas, you could be right.

      • Anna

        If that’s the case, then they really need to clean house because the show’s been virtually unwatchable for years now. It’s a shame too because the show has the potential to be actually good. Simon wasn’t the biggest problem but the rest of the judges have nothing to offer.

      • Alice

        I completely disagree. Idol became famous when Simon was a nobody. In recent years, the judging panel has been absolutely absurd – not listening to performances and not making any meaningful statements. Simon is certainly a personality that will be missed, but I would also be glad if his departure means that “judging” will actually entail judging and not lunatic antics that just take away from the singing performances.

      • Patricia

        Keep Simon and get rid of Kara… she makes us all sick she is taking over the show and ruining it.
        who wants to listen to her stupid talk all the time.

    • Anne

      Michael is certainly not belittling Simon here. Simon is gone, that’s a fact, not a suggestion. Michael is trying to look on the bright side. This situation makes it even worse that the exec’s made the dunce move to bring in Ellen. We need to hear from people with music industry cred.

      • Brett

        Seriously? So you were able to make sense of Paula’s idiotic ramblings and Randy’s for me for you’s? What I think that this show has been missing from the get-go is the voice of us common folk. If Ellen does some homework and doesn’t work too hard to be Paula(sans idiocy), I think that she’ll add quite a bit to the panel, industry experience or not. How sad that we need to be forcefed the opinions of industry insiders. Let’s not forget that, before American Idol, Paula Abdul was washed up and Randy Jackson was…who exactly was he?

        Let’s face it though(ehem, Slezak), the show is done. There is no way that we’re going to watch X-Factor and American Idol. While I’ll eat it up, I think that it’ll be a bit much for the average television viewer. One will survive and I have a feeling that it won’t be American Idol.

      • Alice

        To Brett: I understand from the Nielsen ratings that America’s Got Talent does pretty well (I can’t stomach the drivel, myself), but it couldn’t hold a candle to Idol. I doubt, very much, that Idol will get beaten by the X-Factor. I watched all the clips of the British version with Susan Boyle and it seemed more in the vein of AGT than Idol (and, as I said, I think AGT just kinda sucks by comparison).

      • Shaun

        Alice – Susan Boyle was on Britain’s Got Talent, not X-Factor. That’s why it seemed more like America’s Got Talent. X-Factor is more like AI but it allows group acts and different age groups… not jugglers and ventriloquists (thankfully)

    • Quirky

      I agree with Stacey. Plus you have to ask another question….

      How much is having another singing competition on TV such as X-Factor going to hurt Idol? It’s not like Simon’s retiring, he’s setting up the competition across the street. With X-Factor’s easier rules (no age restrictions, bands are allowed) they will probably be able to bring in a wider range of talent that can appeal to a larger demographic.

      X-Factor may end up being a better showcast of talent and that would hurt Idol far more than who’s at the judging panel.

    • OMG

      I think you could tell he was done last season. I mean when Adam lost to Kris you could tell he didn’t agree (and in hind site it appears he was right). I also think 19Entertainment is to blame as well – I mean I am not a record exec and I could probably have mustered up more interest in Kris, Adam and Allison working by myself. First off they need to stop releasing these CD’s so quickly after the show – give the winner/others a chance to develop a CD rather than throwing a bunch of cr@p at the wall and hoping something sticks. Second – release videos!!!!!! This is what’s killing Adam – there is no video support for the song they have him singing on every show – by the time they get around to making one everyone will have moved on. Oh, and in the case of Allison pick age appropriate material for her to cover. I think Simon knows it’s a quickly sinking ship.

      • TellyB

        How was Simon right? Adam sold more records than Kris on his first week, but months later, neither album is in the top 50 anymore, and neither has gotten any significant traction on pop radio. For all the hype, in the end, neither Adam nor Kris became the stars that the AI machine (helped by the media at large) told us they would become.

      • Mary

        American Idol is suppose to be help create radio friendly musicians. I think that is one reason Adam didn’t win, he is more visual and his music isn’t always radio friendly, and many people knew that. He is talented, but not always radio friendly.

      • Musica1

        I don’t know about Simon being “right” about Adam winning. Right now Kris’ single “Live Like We’re Dying” is charted:
        #12 on Adult Contemporary Chart
        #21 on Christian Chart
        #26 on Pop Chart
        #27 on Digital Charts
        #30 on Hot 100

        Adam’s “Whataya Want From Me” is #34 on the Pop Chart only.

      • lady haha

        After watching Adam’s AMA performance, Simon should say, “Thanks to America, Kris won the Idol.”

      • Vickie

        To lady haha

        Just because a person has one bad performance, it doesn’t make them a bad performer. Adam has way redeemed himself for that one performance and he is still kicking Kris’ behind. Just because Adam isn’t your cup of tea doesn’t mean he isn’t a perfect cup for many.

      • OMG

        Last week Adam’s CD was #29 (or 30 – I can’t remember which) on the Billboard charts, so I wouldn’t write him off just yet considering that 19E hasn’t really released “Whataya Want From Me” as a single nor have they released a video for it. Yes, “FYE” was pretty much DOA as a single but I think that was largely 19E’s fault for not releasing it earlier as a single and not releasing a video for it until 3-4 weeks after the single had been released. Adam’s AMA performance didn’t help the single at all so I am not sure why 19E didn’t just scrap it and immediately produce a video for “Whataya…” since they had Adam on all of the shows performing that song.

        As for Kris – frankly I have no idea why his CD isn’t doing better. His single is doing pretty good but the CD has tanked. I think we all need to remember that success like Susan Boyles doesn’t happen these days. It took Lady GaGa’s CD almost a full year to break and I think this is going to be true for Adam and Kris too – I think they will both be fine in the long run – but only if 19E pulls their heads out and starts following the examples of other successful artists. Oh, and Lady Haha – sorry, but I am sure Simon knows that not everyone is perfect and that performers have off nights and still rebound just fine. In fact, Lady GaGa was on SYTYCD and was horrid when her first single came out and she’s doing just fine now.

      • Beauty

        OMG – In radio, you have to “pay to play”! It costs gargantuan amounts of money for radio to play songs. It’s not all done on radio requests and other signals of popularity alone. The songs played on radio are programmed by the station programmers/producers. It is an executive decision mainly, not a fan decision, that decides what gets played on radio. Lots of cash thrown at artists to promote them via radio usually ensures commercial success due to the repeated “visability” and familiarity of the radio plays. With 3 artists coming out, in as many weeks, I’m sure they only had to be as creative as they could in dividing up the AI/19E/RCA/JIVE promotion money. BTW, Adam tweeted that his “Whataya Want From Me” video is premiering on VH1 on 1/15/10 between 6-10am (EST?).

        TellyB – In the US (I don’t know where you are), Billboard has both albums listed in the top 100 on the Billboard 200. Kris Allen is #91 and Adam Lambert is #36. Also, both albums are nearing the 2-month mark, so they’ve only been out here for weeks, not months, as you stated. Kris Allen has been out for 7 weeks and Adam Lambert for 6 weeks.

        lady haha – In all likelyhood, Simon is more apt to say (if Adam comes on American Idol by the end of January), “Thanks to America, Adam Lambert’s debut album, “For Your Entertainment”, has been Certified GOLD (500K)!!!” BTW, Lady GaGa’s album sales have exceeded 8 Million so far (she was presented with 8 Platinum albums at one of her recent concerts) and her concert boxoffice is doing just fine, especially amidst EVERYONE finding a hard time shifting discs and selling seats! Even the venerable Beyonce is having a tough time too considering her track record!

      • Rain

        I saw it coming as well last year. No spark from Simon. Intersting comment on CD release date – in the UK Simon has gone on record as saying they will “take their time” with release of 2009 X-Factor winners CD

    • Anne

      I think Simon as judge is replaceable…its Simon as entertainer that is tough. You always care what comes out of his mouth, and often, its amusing. His facial expressions are priceless. They need someone who is equally entertaining and brings the respectability/honesty without seeming like a Simon Clone. I agree that this is the perfect opportunity to just get rid of Randy as well and “start over”.

    • darclyte

      Fox should just replace AI with XF like what happened in the UK. American audiences will get burned out with 2 shows of this type (look what happened to Star Search when they tried to bring it back, and SS is more like XF than AI as it doesn’t have an arbitrary age limit and allowed groups.) While AI is really about the singers, not the judges, they should just end it. But the real question is, will Simon hire Paula?

      • Jman

        I didn’t even see your post before I basically the same thing. Duh on my part.

    • Jman

      In the UK, X Factor replaced Pop Idol.

      I get the feeling it’s going to do the same thing here.

    • jared4ever

      He was about the last thing I truly enjoyed about this show to be honest. They’d better pull a serious rabbit out of a hat if they want to keep any viewers.

    • Rosalie

      The problem is that once the original panel starts to exit, the show no longer feels the same. There is a comfort level that we all appreciate. Also, Simon did not make American Idol. Idol was something new and fresh when it first came out. NO one tuned in to watch Paula, Randy or Simon. It’s like saying that Jennifer Aniston made Friends. These were two great shows that they happened to be a part of. To my point, go and check out Jennifer’s box office record, that alone will tell you if she has draw power or not.

    • avanti

      Agreed with you Michael!
      This “judge table” needs spring cleaning.
      I was also frustrated increasingly with Simon’s pimping and slamming to fit an agenda (quoted from idol8fan) on season 8 Am Idol. I felt disconnected with Simon’s comments. I’d watch Am. Idol with or without Simon in the future.

    • leo

      I’d love for David Foster to replace Simon and Ben Folds to replace Randy, and then get Pharrell in to replace Kara. Keep Ellen! I’d be excited to watch that show.

  • Dean

    The show has gotten stale.This might be the best thing for the show.They need to revamp.Last year’s winner has flopped.

    • Billy

      Kris Allen is not a flop… Kris has had two Top 40 singles already! Glambert hasn’t had any.

      • Ed

        Why did you have to bring up Adam Lambert? The original comment was a dig against Kris, yes, but it wasn’t pushing Adam. Why do you have to push Kris at Adam’s expense? Sorry if I am coming off as rude, but I don’t get why so much of Kris and Adam’s fanbase feel the need to bash the other singer. Though I am partial to one of them, I don’t wish the other bad will. I hope they both succeed. There’s too much negativity in this world. Why do you feel the need to add more?

      • Bruce

        Top 40 is not good

      • E

        Calm down Ed. Billy is telling the FACT. Kris has been doing much better than adam on the chart so far.

      • Roger

        E, I don’t think Ed has to calm down (I didn’t get the sense he was upset). Billy was stating a fact, yes, but Ed was bringing up a sad reality about much of kris’s and Adam’s fans: they like to push one artist while bashing the other. Dean’s original comment bashed Kris alone, so I understand Billy wanting to stick up for for Kris, but was there a need to criticize Adam in the process? No. Doing so is being just as negative as Dean (the original commenter Billy was commenting against). I love Kris and his album. I won’t buy Adam’s, but I certainly don’t wish him ill will. I certainly won’t measure Kris’s success by the lack of Adam’s, or vise versa. Doing so is plain silly.

      • Beauty

        And this is ALSO FACT:

        Adam Lambert – “For Your Entertainment”

        #42 Canadian Hot 100

        Adam Lambert – “Whataya Want From Me”

        #34 Pop Songs (3 wks on chart)
        #38 Adult Pop Songs (debut/1 wk)
        #69 Canadian Hot 100 (3 wks on chart)
        #70 Hot 100 (3 wks on chart)

        By comparison, Kris Allen’s single, “Live Like We’re Dying”, has been on the charts for 12 weeks. Adam Lambert’s singles continue to be worked into radio play and other promos (FYE is used in FOX and Showtime season promos). It’s a GOOD start for him, especially so since he hasn’t gotten the radio play that Kris has!

  • amanda

    I totally agree. I think Idol can survive without Simon. I am just wondering if it can survive against the x-factor. I hope so. Also vote for my home town girl Katie Stevens when she gets to top 24. I know she will. check her on tomorrow’s episode.

  • Marilyn

    I’m sure Simon could be replaced, but I think the show itself is losing its credibility

  • mscisluv

    Ben Folds, Ben Folds, Ben Folds. That is all.

    • fizzy

      Ben Folds is an AWESOME idea!

    • mangagirl

      Yes!!

    • lovesurvivor

      Reading my mind. I think Ben Folds would be excellent. Simon leaving would be terrible … none of the other judges ever have anything of value to add. Simon was always dead-on in his critique of someone. Whomever replaces Simon needs to have the same ability to critique. I’m ok with less mean, but they need to be honest in their assessment.

    • Meg

      Absolutely! He has a critical ear, but would also give credit to performers who have more nuance and subtlety as opposed to those who just belt it out. Love, love love him.

    • Moi

      Ben Folds would be amazing. I worry, though, that they’ll go for the “shocking” judge instead of someone who makes relevant critiques – which even Simon hasn’t been doing well recently.

      • leo

        I’d love Ben Folds to replace Randy or Kara
        I see someone like David Foster replacing Simon Cowell

    • gogo

      YES YES YES and YES!!!!!!!

    • Gleekster

      Ben Folds was great on the Sing Off (was that it’s name? I forget.) He was critical, but constructive. He was just so good as a judge. Really, people like Simon because he is rude and abrasive. Simon wanted David Archuleta and he lost. He wanted Adam Lambert and he lost. So has he really be on it?

    • Gleekster

      I will be very happy to not see a gray, white or black t-shirt or sweater along with lifts and a bad haircut. People credit him with signing Leona Lewis, Sue Bo, etc. but these people won from these shows. Eh. If he’s gone, fine. I honestly watch week in week out for the talented and untalented people singing week by week.

    • marmar

      I totally agree with this idea! He was the best judge on The Sing Off.

  • Kelly Clarkson

    I’d like to be a judge

    • Amy

      LOL!!

    • Fluffs

      Cheryl Cole who won one of the Popstars shows, that predated Idol is a judge on UK XFactor so you becoming a judge Kelly isn’t as far fetched an idea as you might think. ;)

  • Gary

    But today’s newsbomb that Simon Cowell will not return to American Idol for its tenth “AND FINAL” season in 2011

  • Vada

    There is a God. My prayers are answered and Simon is almost gone. Hallelujah! Can I get an ‘Amen’?
    I can’t stand that arrogant b*s*a*d. I don’t want him telling me who to like or who to vote for.
    And of course I follow you on Twitter. Doesn’t everyone?

    • Amy

      Vada, honey. There would be NO Idol if it weren’t for Simon. He’s the daddy, girl.

      • Vada

        Maybe you need him to tell you who can sing, but I don’t.

    • lady haha

      Simon is gone. Amen

  • daisyj

    I completely agree; Idol *could* exist without Simon. I just don’t think it will. If there was anything we learned from the Kara/Paula/Ellen debacle, it’s that Idol’s producers really don’t have a very good idea of what makes their show tick. Judges getting all the attention? Hire a new one who wants to showboat so bad she does sing-offs with the auditioners. Ditching the female judge everyone laughs at? Replace her with someone whose job is to be funny on purpose*. What I suspect will happen now is that they won’t take this as an opportunity to fix what’s broken and stale about the show (ahem, Randy, ahem) or realize they need a voice of credible musical knowledge, and instead just go out and hire someone with an accent and tell him to be mean to people. And I think that will be the beginning of the end.

    *To be fair, I haven’t seen Ellen in action yet, so I really can’t judge (ha!). But the reasoning stands.

    • Brett

      That’s the thing…is Simon’s knowledge of music credible? I think that many people are mistaking “favorite” judge for “best” judge. Simon is a BUSINESSMAN. He knows how to package artists. He’s created success for people and groups that, quite frankly, don’t have the talent of half of the struggling singers in New York and LA. There is NOTHING special about Susan Boyle’s voice. It’s pleasant. Nothing more. I’ve heard “I Dreamed a Dream” sung better at karaoke…seriously. Susan has a GREAT story and in times so trying, Simon capitalized on that story. Simon finds a way to offer what is either in demand, needed or what is unique. That doesn’t make him an expert in music. If we’re talking pure voice and musical talent, he has little clue. He’s a genius at what he does, but I’d put more stock in a Kara D critique of music and voice than I would a Simon Cowell critique. He’s looking at dollar signs, not talent.

      • daisyj

        The problem is, all that is true, and he’s still the “best” of the judges. I had hopes for Kara, with her music background, but she really disappointed me with her critiques. I agree, Simon’s comments are generally more focused on pushing the most marketable of the singers, especially in the last couple of seasons, but even with that I think he’s still been the most likely to put some kind of thought into what he says.

      • miras

        Spot on Brett. Here’s something from Britain. Fight for your talent in the States. You have plenty. There are many AI&XF type of auditions at the moment that we don’t watch. Talents are being discovered by Justin Timberlake, Akon, RedOne as we speak. Prove that Idol is not about the judges but about the music and voices. I admit that we need judges with a sense of humour and knowledge of music. But AI is neither a sitcom nor a stand up comedy. Please don’t idiolize Simon, he’s just a clever businessmen who’s turned mean into funny. I’ve never watched Idol or XFactor to hear the judges. So far I have more than 30 CDs from AI singers and none from British XF. Many AI competitors stayed in the music business, British XF produced only Leona Lewis in so many years, the fast majority just flopped and went back to their previous boring jobs. Rage Against the Machine bit Simon for Xmas no 1 this year. The only thing he had on British XF was blooming Xmas no 1. Lost this year. People are fed up to listen to the recycling of somebody else’s hits. Last year the XF winner sang Cohen’s ‘Halellujah’, this year Miley’s ‘Climb’. Common people, that’s Cowell’s knowledge of music: Tellytubbies and ballads.

    • WhyBeStupid

      Well, if we judge Ellen by the craptastic job she did on SYTYCD, Idol’s doomed. She wasn’t just painful on SYTYCD- she was a show killer!! And here again, we’ll waste time we could hav spent listening to the artists to listen to her. If I wanted to listen to her crack dumb pre-written jokes on a tv show, I’d catch her talk show.

      • Brett

        Give me an effing break. If this show were about the artists, they wouldn’t need judges. Her critique will be no less useful than any of the others. They’re all wastes of time. She was, at least, coherent on SYTYCD. I can’t say the same for Paula, Randy or Kara.

      • Kev

        Brett you are wrong. Ellen was not great on SYTYCD. She joked too much, didn’t take it seriously and too much time was spent on her instead of the dancers. It will be the same with Idol. She will joke around and use up way too much time, and lets face it the judges already take up too much time!!! It should be about the singers, not the freaking judges!

      • Kev

        I also think they should bring back the songwriters contest again. It worked well for David and David. They each got to choose their favorite and that way they both didn’t have to sing the same song. I hope they do that this year.

      • JT

        Simon left the day she started lol.

      • Brett

        Kev…you should read comments a little more closely before you respond. Where did I indicate that Ellen was great on SYTYCD? Coherent=great? ALL of the judges use up way too much time. This show has never been about the singers. Unfortunate but true.

  • Juniper

    Simon is the best judge on that show. He’s brutally honest, which is what people who are trying to make it in the music industry need. I’m not sure I’ll watch after he goes.

    • Brandon Randall

      I agree that Simon was an excellent judge at times and that the show will have a large mountain to climb without him. But, I will say…this last season he was incredibly off. He seemed bored and offered stale stock critiques (“cruise ship singer,” “dreadful”) rather than being direct, honest, and to the point. There were flashes of the old, riveting master judge, but it seemed this season as if he was tired of it all. On top of that, he played favorites relentlessly…I understand him liking some singers better than others, but throwing Allison and Kris under the bus, trashing many of their good performances? At times, it almost made me sick. I will miss Simon, but I do think the show can survive without him, and perhaps this is what it needs.

      • the Ricker

        Totally agree. Last season did it for me. It was completely rude to see Simon barely watching a performance and thinking the world should bow to his critique. His lack of interest has been obvious for a few years but last year did it for me. Gokey sucked, and they still pushed him ahead of Kris. Why? So Adam (a.k.a. “rock god”) could win! too bad for him it backfired because the rest of America got as ticked off about it it as I did and voted the way they and not the powers that be wanted ..

      • Alice

        Amen!

      • realityTv

        Amen

      • DT

        amen!

      • Vickie

        Let us not forget that AT & T pushed Kris…..Let us not forget how they rigged the so called mega votes so that one call meant about 50 votes so that Kris would win. America did not choose my dear, AT & T chose……..

      • dave

        @Vickie please get your FACTs straight.

    • mark

      Paula was the best judge this past season.

  • Minutiae

    Linda Perry as a replacement is a fan-freaking-tastic idea.

  • idol and ew are done

    idol is done, and i hope you are too sleaze-hack. you all have been so far up the 19e butt you too have lost all relevance and credibility. there are no independent thinkers here, just folks who tow the party line and crap idol feeds you. season 8 was a total flop in finding any substantial commercially relevant recording artists, people are sick of adam lambert being shoved in their faces as the next big thing, kris allen’s cd is tanking badly, and allison is an afterthought. idol is done, and as they go down in flames, here’s to them taking your ilk with them. see ya.

    • Amy

      Hey, no hatin’ on Slezak!

    • Alice

      Boy, that’s a lot of vitriole for a Monday night.

    • realityTv

      @idol and ew are done
      Silly you. NO, no no on hating Mr. Slezak

    • miras

      Why are you hear ‘idol and ew are done’? Go and watch Dumb & Dumber

    • Rachel

      That is ridiculous! Slezak is the man!

  • Shannon

    I couldn’t agree more that Randy and Kara need to go. But I strongly second Ken Tucker’s idea: BRING IN BEN FOLDS!

  • Jules

    hhahahhahahah. #3 is so wrong. Idol does not produce radio ready stars. Few idols are relevant. And those that are (Daughtry and Carrie, I’m looking at you.) make me question America’s taste.

    • psychoanalyzer

      yes!!

  • Kim

    I hope that Simon and Paula run off into the sunset together and that X-factor is a huge success. Oh, and they can take Ryan with them. I like him.

    • Amy

      Yeah, Ryan’s like the little kid brother. I hope Paula’s on his show. Good chemistry there.

    • Beauty

      I don’t know about that right yet, Kim and Amy. Remember, it was RYAN’S $15M YEARLY contract offer that ticked Paula off. She asked for a similar offer on par with his and was given the boot after she didn’t accept the supposed $5M offer they gave her. With the rumor that Cowell has/will offer Paula $4.5M to judge on X-Factor with him, then the only way Simon could bring over Ryan (if Idol ceases to exist) would be to offer Ryan a similar offer. We all saw how personal grudges and animosities behind the camera found their way in front of the camera with “The View” when Star Jones and Rosie O’Donnell were on there! The co-hosts chemistry was off, you could tell they were “faking the friendly” for the camera (and their paycheck), and eventually somebody got fired or quit. Not to say Paula would fault Ryan for an offer made to him, but sometimes people can be surprisingly petty.

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