'American Idol' judges update: Why no official announcement on Steven Tyler?

steventylerImage Credit: Jason Kempin/FilmMagicDude may look like an American Idol judge, at least according to a number of Internet reports that surfaced on Tuesday, so how come there’s been no official announcement that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will take a seat at the Idol judges’ table when season 10 callback auditions begin filming in mid-September? Spokespersons at Fox, Idol, and FremantleMedia all declined comment when contacted by EW, but a source with inside knowledge of the world’s most high-profile job search insists “there’s nothing to announce yet.” In fact, says the insider, Fox execs are hoping they can get the entire panel locked into place, then “make one, big splashy announcement, but they’re not quite there yet.” So how much longer is the Idoloonie nation expected to hold its collective breath? “If I was the betting type, I’d say there’ll be something official announced by the end of next week. But that can all change at any second,” adds my source. “Still, what’s the rush? This is, what, the third or fourth time media outlets have ‘confirmed’ the Steven Tyler rumor? All this water-cooler buzz isn’t such a bad thing for a show that a lot of pundits would love to try to paint as finished.” Indeed, to paraphrase a classic bit of Monty Python, Idol‘s not dead yet!

One other factor delaying the final announcement about who — and how many — will fill the chairs that were occupied in season 9 by Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and the definitively exiting duo of Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell: The fact that producers consider the chemistry among its roster of judges just as — and perhaps even more — important than individual star wattage. “We’ve seen over the last two years some really great people that haven’t fitted together, as far as I’m concerned,” returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said in an interview with EW earlier this month. “Don’t forget, [when Idol first started] we introduced two people you’d never heard of — Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson. It doesn’t always need this [element of], ‘They’ve done this, they’ve done that!’”

And so while Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson have been widely rumored as the clear front-runners for a revamped, three-member panel, at the end of the day, they’re scattered pieces of a very high-profile puzzle, and all of us will have to wait and see if the hands behind the show pick ‘em up and lock ‘em into place.

What do you think of a Tyler-J.Lo-Randy panel? Is there anyone else the producers should be considering as a last-minute addition? And even though I know you’re probably going to say “Hell yeah,” I also have to ask: Are you experiencing Idol rumor fatigue yet? Sound off in the comments, and to get all my Idol-related news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.

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Comments (131 total) Add your comment
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  • Molly M M

    I have a last-minute addition. Michael Slezak.

    • Louise

      COMPLETELY agree.

      • jbreal

        TOTALLY agree.

      • jazzy

        Someone who knows talent and can make insanely funny, quick and wise remarks? The producers are not that intelligent, unfortunately.

      • cass

        Not only Slezak, but also Brian Mansfield from Idol Chatter at USA Today. And Harry Connick.

      • anon-i-mouse

        Brilliant choice! Someone call FOX and get them to draw up the papers!!

    • ptr

      TYRA BANKS please!

    • pbldel


    • amanda

      oh hellz yeah

    • Javabooknut

      Write in Petition anyone? Slezak for Idol Judge!!!

    • Charlie

      The new 4-person judging table should be Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Kristin Baldwin, and Dawnie Walton. FOX, please make this happen.

      • Grace W.


    • lunakit

      Michael Slezak… just supposing they asked… would you do it?!?!

    • Jamie

      I’d watch Slezak WAY before I’d watch Steven Tyler. Sorry, but if they are trying to shift the focus off of the judges and back onto the contestants than Steven Tyler is not the person you bring on board.

    • PinBox


    • yawn

      Completely disagree. Slezak lost his credibility two seasons ago with his out of control crush on Kris Allen.

    • Tara

      Show would be cancelled at mid season if Slezak was added.

  • JJ

    Steven Tyler is a HUGE misfire of a choice. Ellen was the first indicator that the powers that be had lost the pulse of the audience and this is even further proof. A poor man’s Mick Jagger who is difficult to look at AND has an unpleasant singing voice will turn viewers away. J-Lo’s music AND movie career have both tanked so we have yet another misfire.

    Add some INTERESTING people!
    -Cheryl Tweedy from Britain’s X-Factor won a tv singing competition to form the UK’s hugely successful Girls Aloud and she’s gorgeous.
    -David Foster is an industry vet with a legendary resume.
    -Babyface is a singer, songwriter, producer, etc. who’s worked with the best of the best.
    -Hitmaking making Max Martin.
    -Ryan Tedder
    -Janet Jackson
    -Debbie Gibson would be more interesting than JLo or Drag Queen Tyler.

    Get your act together Idol because these are C+ boring choices we’ve been hearing….we don’t want another Ellen.

    • gigi

      Totally agree with your choices. I’ve been hoping Baby Face, LA Reid or Deborah Gibson would have been in consideration for the judge role.

    • Fridge

      David Foster would be truly fantastic. Maybe they could bring Josh Groban on as a mentor for the week and he could gues judge. Wonder if he’d judge like he did on Glee…somehow I’m thinking that would be far more interesting than anything else that’s happened on this show in seasons.

      • Anne

        David Foster should absolutely be on the panel

    • laura

      Steven Tyler is neither difficult to look at nor does he have a bad voice. Aerosmith rocks. I would watch Tyler any day.

      • Kelli Patton

        I totally agree steven tyler is a great entertainer, has the most awesome voice in rock and is very pleasant to look at. If he was chose as an american idol judge I’d watch it just to see him. He’s more talented than half the other choices.

  • jordan

    i surprisingly haven’t reached the i’m-tired-of-hearing-rumors yet, but i AM ready for them to just announce the judges already. i’d really like if it were shania twain, kara dioguardi and some behind-the-scenes guy i’ve never heard of.

    • jordan

      oh, and i REALLYREALLYREALLY hope they don’t choose steven tyler.

    • KWise

      I also really REALLY REALLY REALLY hope they don’t choose Steven Tyler!

    • Marci

      Add me to the REALLY REALLY REALLY hope they don’t choose Steven Tyler list.

  • CampCounsellor

    I think Steve Tyler is an AMAZING choice. He’s a bit outrageous and a bit fabulous, and he’s different to what’s happened on the show thus far. So long as he can give good criticism he’ll be worth watching for sure!

    • Rumplestiltskin

      Steven Tyler has become a cartoon. And he looks like the crypt keeper, he’d frighten the children. A very bad choice. What are they thinking?

      • Corisa

        thats funny.

  • mik

    that settles it I’ve watched since the beginning, but I will find something else to do with my time now.. Not to mention that my wife thinks he flat out UGLY!!


  • Shelnate

    Please, no Steven Tyler! I can’t stand him. There are plenty that are better and more qualified then
    he. I won’t watch if he is a judge!

  • JC

    Let me get this right, Is he the one replacing Ellen

  • Grey

    The best choice out there is Robert John “Mutt” Lang. The man flat out knows when raw ability can be shaped into “talent” and become successful.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Great choice. Damn, I’m pissed I didn’t think of it.

      • Stormy

        Mutt would be good, but he is notoriously camera shy. Hates the spotlight.

    • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson

      “Mut” Lang would be good, but as Stormy noted, he hates the spotlight – plus, we’d never see Shania as a guest judge or mentor again, and that would be awful!

  • Isaac

    I’ve heard it mentioned somewhere and the more I think about it, the more I wish it would happen. I have one word for who should be a judge. Cher.

    • JC

      I was thinking about that today, and she would be awesome

    • Marci

      CHER! She would be so much fun.

  • Marco Neu

    while we are at it, Seacrest out, Cat Deeley in

    • GinaBallerina

      I love this! I wish it could happen!

    • slick

      You can’t imagine how much I agree. The fact that no one much talks about replacing Seacrest on these boards is really a testament to how bad people are at fixing tihngs.

    • Kathryn

      Cat Deeley has already been taken by Simon. Simon Cowell has her as the second host of his X-Factor USA. She will be doing the “back stage” interviews and hosting the “xtra factor” which is shown after the “x-factor” where they talk to the singers about the night, learn some intersting things about the singers, get funny clips taken that week, and get opinions of experts( entertainment writers, singers, critics, ect) to talk about the night, oh and to get the judges opinions.

  • sbwm

    Please, No to ST.

  • matkojapan

    Cher would be the BOMB!!!

    I wonder why nobody has mentioned Bryan Adams? His career is over and he is enough of an asshole to make the show interesting.

    I would love to see David Foster, Shania Twain and Bryan Adams!

    3 Canadians judging the next American idol! EPIC! :)

    • Corisa

      Brian Adams is an a- hole??? PERFECT!!!

  • TomK

    For the season finale the aged out-of-touch producers gave us a bunch of geriatric has-beens for guest musicians, and now they want to give us Steven Tyler for a judge. Those two things right there show us how wildly out of touch they are. For years they’ve succeeded despite their cluelessness, but now it finally might do them in. AI didn’t succeed because of Simon Cowell, although he could be entertaining at times. But any entertainment value he had was completely eclipsed by performances like Kelly Clarkson singing Stuff Like That There or Adam Lambert doing Mad World.

    • Bounce

      still my all time fav AI moment “Kelly Clarkson singing Stuff Like That There”. When I saw that, I knew she was going to win.

  • Kenny Black

    I think Steven tyler is a Fabulous choice for a judge. He is most defenitly qualified. The question is would he want to be a Judge on American Idol. Tyler pretty much stands in a class all by himself. A move like this could take his career in a whole new direction, it could be good and it could be bad. Personally I love the idea.

  • hobokendave

    Thankfully, with a DVR we can fast forward through the judges and just watch the singing.

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