'American Idol' exclusive: 'No deals have fallen through due to unreasonable demands,' says well-placed source

american-idol-tableImage Credit: F Micelotta/Getty ImagesTake this week’s round of rumors about American Idol‘s potential lineup of season 10 judges with a grain of salt. A source close to the negotiations tells EW.com exclusively that “no deals have fallen apart due to unreasonable demands.” The Idol insider staunchly refused to name names, but said that even the most A-list of potential replacements for Simon Cowell’s job have been “really gracious. This is an extremely high-profile gig, and you’d better believe no one — male or female — has been unreasonable at the negotiating table.”

Going into this week, a number of media sources speculated that Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson were the front-runners for seats on Idol‘s season 10 judging panel, but on Monday, several Web sites reported that Lopez’s deal had fallen apart at the eleventh hour. “Don’t believe everything you read,” cautioned the Idol insider. “This may simply be a case of one diva’s rep slinging mud to make another potential candidate look like a diva. There are a million agendas swirling out there, and a lot of camps aren’t above using rumor and speculation to advance their causes.” Indeed, with reps from Fox, Idol, and Fremantle all declining official comment on potential replacements for the exiting Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres, the landscape is ripe for wannabe judges’ confidantes to plant poisonous seeds in the media with regard to their competition.

Another source close to the show tells me the only certainty is that Fox is loving the 24/7 cycle of media speculation about a show that will enter its tenth season in January 2011, a point at which buzz should be diminishing, not deafening. “It’s the perfect position to be in,” says my source, who wouldn’t be surprised if Fox waits till the end of the month to make an announcement about which celebs will play the roles of Randy-Paula-Simon for a new generation of Idoloonies. [Related: ‘American Idol': 15 Ways to Fix It!; EW’s exclusive acoustic performance with season 8’s Allison Iraheta; ‘American Idol': The 13 Worst Performances of All Time]

For all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.

Comments (204 total) Add your comment
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  • Diva

    Please just let this show go. Let it end on a good note. This is just ridiculous.

    • oh please

      Nigel said that he wants Randy to stay and Randy is on a contract. Why do you have to put Randy-Paula-Simon? It’s suppose to be Kara-Paula-Simon who are getting replacements. DEAL WITH IT Michael!

      • mscisluv

        I think he meant that the original judges were Randy-Paula-Simon and that’s what people who started watching in Idol in season 1 were used to. Now, there’s going to be an (almost) entirely new panel going into the new season.

      • MNCyn

        Did I miss something here? I don’t see Kara’s name in Michael’s article. And even though Michael has made a few positive comments about Kara, I’ve never quite gotten the idea he’s a huge fan of hers. Am I wrong?

      • Yes Wrong

        Someones paying him to write about her, he keeps writing in his articles that he wants her to be on the show.

      • Ddisy

        “Randy-Paula-Simon”… the writer is simply referring to the show’s most prominent/well-known judging panel to-date. Duh.

      • Ya right

        Sure he is. He knew he could play it off like that, but the guy writes about wanting to get Randy off of the show all the time.

      • mwhals

        Kara was let go by the show from reports I read a few weeks ago. That is why she is not named.

      • calistoga


      • Janet

        Shucks really? Because if they are going to be making it only 3 judges, then kara taking up space by having one of those spots just sounds so awful!

      • Response to ‘one question’

        The reason why most people do NOT want 4 judges is because their comments take away WAY too much time from the show. Think about it… if there are 10 contestants and each judge speaks for just one minute, that’s 40 minutes spent just on the judges talking. So each contestant sings for 1 1/2 minutes and the judges get 4 minutes to give their comments. That’s ridiculous. It’s should be the other way around. More singing, less judge comments. so THREE JUDGES please, not four. And 1 1/2 minutes to sing is just not enough.

      • Maria

        Kara hasn’t been fired? She should be.

    • Blogger

      In the real world, once you fire someone, that person is suppose to stay fired. Michael, Kara is not coming back.

      • Music Love

        I think they should get Colbie Caillat to replace Ellen, Katy Perry to replace Kara and Steven Tyler to replace Simon(and he doesn’t have to be a jerk like Simon, no more black sweaters)

      • My picks

        Dear American Idol, if you guys are reading this, I think you should get Sara Bareilles and Jamie Foxx on the show to be judges. They are two very talented people.

      • agree

        Great idea! Sara Bareilles is a great singer-pianist-songwriter. I vote for this idea too.

      • one question

        Why do they only want three judges? They should have four judges. Shania Twain, Jamie Foxx, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler!!!

      • Joe

        Enter the demise of american idol. Does anyone really think AI is going to be popular in the fall?? Simon’s launching his own similar style show the same time so it’s a no brainer everyone’s going to switch to it… Doesn’t matter who is the new judges, the show is done for.

      • Ann

        @one question, I agree, they should have four judges. Nigel is the one who wants only 3 judges, hopefully they wont listen to him. @Joe, People can always watch both shows. Stop being a hater.

      • jennifer C

        Simon Cowell the genius god of show marketing and music promotion? Hardly, he was moderately successful packaging music.
        The idea of his worshippers that he is God and all who watch Idol only do so for his Greatness and will march mehind their God to X-Factor.
        God delivers the precious 8-12 seconds of witty bon mots written for him to deliver by Max Clifford, the famous publicist and the team of three Idol writers that concoct “witty things” for him, other judges, and Seacrest to say.
        Ellen had her own writers and she got gyped.

      • T

        Bret Michaels

      • Hannah

        I third the Sara Bareilles idea!!

      • calistoga


      • Response to ‘one question’

        The reason why most people do NOT want 4 judges is because their comments take away WAY too much time from the show. Think about it… if there are 10 contestants and each judge speaks for just one minute, that’s 40 minutes spent just on the judges talking. So each contestant sings for 1 1/2 minutes and the judges get 4 minutes to give their comments. That’s ridiculous. It’s should be the other way around. More singing, less judge comments. so THREE JUDGES please, not four. And 1 1/2 minutes to sing is just not enough!

    • Diva

      Jamie Foxx is way too good for this show, besides he has way too much going on with his singing, acting, owning his own business, plus taking caring of his kid.

      • davey

        “Jamie Foxx is way too good for this show…” Oh dear. Too good for it? LOL. Thanks for the laugh :)

      • Diva

        Did he not win an Oscar? Yea that’s right he did. Trust, he is good and talented. Like I said way too good for this show.

      • Hannah

        Jamie Foxx is a d-bag.

      • TOM


      • NVI9839

        Uh, an Oscar is for MOVIES, not music. Lmao.

      • calistoga

        Jamie Foxx won Oscar, SAG, BAFTA, and nine (9) film critics awards for Best Actor in “Ray” in 2004. Foxx was a nominee twice for Best Actor in “Dreamgirls”, and the cast was also nominated for best ensemble. In total, Foxx has received 32 Wins plus 37 nominations! He has proven on many occasions that he can sing and perform on stage with the best! (Did I hear the laughing stop?)

        Foxx has a 15 year old daughter, Corrine, who lives with her mother. Those of us who have/had teenagers know we’re qualified to know what the tweens want to hear, and who they want to idolize.
        (Sorry folks, I’m on a roll today!)

    • Jay

      Its way too late for this show to end on a good note. Its been garbage for about 3 years now

      • Qodex

        And yet here you are, not only reading the articles, but taking time to post comments.

    • DW

      If we wanted it to end on a good note we’d have to go back in time and cancel it after season 8.

      • Seriously?

        truer words…

      • Rebekah

        THIS. Too true. Season 9 probably had the worst and most boring Top 12 ever. That should show that even Simon can makes mistakes–he helped form what was Idol’s most disappointing season yet. Here’s to hoping season 10 can recapture the excitement and talent we’ve seen in previous Idol years.

    • silverrose

      there was a good note about last season?

      • neetsie

        Actually three good notes…Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert…or were you living in a cave last season?

      • MC

        neetsie, that was two season’s ago. did you forget about the lackluster season that gave us a lackluster idol in Lee Dewyze? the only reason this show is going downhill is because the people who watch keep picking the same soft-rock white male to be the idol.

    • tomm

      Show still has legs, or else no stories every minute. The “whimsical” scripted shows don’t pay the bills.

    • Danny B

      This past season was not a good note, so if they end it, they’re ending it on a really, really bad note lol

    • jujubeans

      This isn’t a sitcom. Its not a drama either. AI can’t run out of stories or plots. As long as there is good singing talent in the country this show is relevant.

      • Ms. K

        I agree: The prospect of discovering unexpected talent makes the show as potentially fascinating in Season 10 as it ever was. It’s only the production side of the equation that screws everything up. Last season had plenty of talent; it was only missteps at the production/editing side, and to a lesser extent the judging, that left us with a lacklustre group. I think most of the Season 9 leaders are very deserving musicians–Crystal, Casey, Didi, Lee, Mike, Aaron, Siobhan, etc.–but the trajectory of the season was uninteresting, and that’s not the performers’ fault.

    • LOL

      No one cares about this crap anymore.

      • Davis

        yeah, that’s why your posting a comment you hypocrit.

  • Tina

    Kara-Paula-Simon are the ones that are getting replacements. Randy is on a contract.

    • shawshank

      Paula isn’t getting a replacement, she’s already been gone. Calm down people! Slezak knows Randy isn’t going anywhere! He’s talking about the original four seats! If he was trying to say Randy should leave, he would have said Randy-Ellen-Simon.

      • shawshank

        * original THREE seats

    • Idys

      Tina, get your facts straight. Paula wasn’t on this past season. And NO ONE has any proof that (a) Kara is gone or (b) that she will be replaced IF she is gone. There could be 3 judges; there could be 4. No one knows. And someone being on contract doesn’t mean a thing. Almost every coach or manager in every sport that gets fired is in the middle of a contract. They just pay them what they owe them. Stop the dumb comments.

      • Ya right

        The producer Nigel said he wants Randy to stay. Nigel didn’t say anything great about kara, there you go, there’s another comment for you!

      • Janet

        Just accept the fact that Nigel made it seem like Randy should stay, and that he didn’t mention anything about kara.

  • jason

    ending it after last year, is not a good note. What exactly do you find ridiculous? I find it ridiculous that you would take the time to post for a show that you don’t care about.

    • Diva

      I find it ridiculous that they still haven’t found someone yet. What I meant by good note is it’s high ratings not the actual singers on there. A lot of shows have ended at the top of their game. Idol should do the same. And I can write whatever the hell I want, so deal.

      • Idys

        Lmao… why is it “ridiculous”??? They’ll pick the judges when they feel like it. Get a life.

      • DivaIsStupid

        First you say it’s ridiculous they haven’t found someone yet, then you say they should end the show. Make up your d#*m mind.

      • Qodex

        Why announce a pick when the suspense is generating 24/7 news coverage?

  • retirednotdead

    Oh please let me believe everything I read! Idiots!

  • Xena W. Princess

    it took me quite a few seconds to remember the name of this year’s winner…

  • susy

    I HOPE lopez isn’t a new judge, she would suck the show into a black hole from which there’s no return.

    • Maggie

      I second that statement! I couldn’t believe they were actually considering her! And please — she IS a diva and I completely believe that she made ridiculous demands. When you’re that narcissistic, you make demands.

  • Nelson S

    Please Please no JLO. How can she judge anyone when she herself can’t sing. What would she say ” girl, with the right amount of digital enhancing you too cans sell albums!!”

    • wino

      such a stupid statement. using your criteria, then Simon, Paula or Randy (you know, the original judges) weren’t fit to judge. give me a break.

  • Nelson S

    I would say, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Anastacia

  • carla l

    kelly clarkson would be neat

    • Pat

      Actually Carla, she would be a great pick. She’s been through the entire experience and has had a very successful music career. And of course she’s the original champ. Totally qualified and she’d be honest without being fluffy like Paula or mean like Simon.

  • My Vote

    I vote for Jamie Foxx

  • polly17

    i vote for Neil Patrick Harris….!!!


      Yes Neil Patrick Harris would be great. He is very much like Simon Cowell in that he has very strong opinions.

  • Adwina Lambert

    hasbeen J-Ho must go!! tee-hee

  • b

    I would rather have Katy Perry, Shania Twain and Neil Patrick Harris. Or if Katy’s “busy with the new album blah blah blah”, Kara then.

    • Beth

      Shania or Kristen Chenoweth, she can bebop back and forth from Glee lol…Harry Connick Jr, for Simon’s spot.

  • Lori

    Pink should be a judge. She’s funny, that would be fun watching how she acts.

    • Mary

      Either Pink or Lady Gaga

      • Beth

        Neither pink or lady Gaga could do a clean show. Plus they are both very trashy.

  • ?

    Entertainment Weekly, this web page is not posting comments. Fix this error fast! And put my comments up!

    • ?

      They still have not put up my comments. Thats lousy

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