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Old 05-25-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
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New Idol Judge Confirmed

Looks like Jennifer Hudson has been confirmed as one of the new judges on American Idol. Others being discussed for the remaining sports are Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken.

While in some ways, it's an interesting premise to have previous contestants as judges, I'm not sure how I feel about them making up the entire panel. But then again, they DO need to make some serious changes and as long as Nicki's not coming back, it'll be an improvement.

Link to article
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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While all the gossip sites think it is likely it has not been confirmed by either her people, Fox, or Idol.
Neither has the non-renewal of Mariah, Keith, or Nicki although she has said she is not coming back.

Mostly these sites are just talking out of their butts for hits.
Mike Darnell, the head of Fox reality has stepped down, though, so even bigger changes could be afoot- like Nigel leaving.
One would hope Warwick as well.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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I do think they need to make major changes to the show, beyond just replacing the judging panel.

My suggestions:
1) Skip the audition rounds on television completely. I'd even skip the Hollywood week as well, and start right into what is currently the Las Vegas round. For one, the audition rounds just give the producers an excuse to pass on lackluster or bad singers just as "cannon fodder." For another, it always seems like there are endless weeks before the audience can start to participate in the show. (They can use footage from the audition rounds later on as a part of various packages they show about the contestants.)
2) Find contestants that can sing, then find a story to tell about them, rather than the other way around. This should be a singing competition, after all. And besides, everyone has a story to tell, the show just needs to find out what that story is for the contestants that make it onto the show.
3) Find judges that can give advice, not soundbites. I'd love for the judges to be more like those on "The Sing-Off," where they actually had musical training and could give specific notes on the performance, like a particular measure in the song they had trouble with, or a certain technique they did well.
4) NO DATED THEMES. No Burt Bacharach week, no Leiber-Stoller week, no Lennon-McCartney week. Sorry, they might be or have been great songs, but given the contestants these days were all born in the 90s, those themes are completely non-relevant to them.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #4
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I do think they need to make major changes to the show, beyond just replacing the judging panel.
You realize most of what you proposed would just turn it into The Voice.

AI has always been equally about bad singers who think they can sing during the auditions as it has been about the second half when the voting process happens and they are trying to find a good singer.

Part of what made it a success was Simon Cowell's being mean while being truthful. There were tons of talent shows that tried to copy the formula.

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Old 05-25-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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I do think they need to make major changes to the show, beyond just replacing the judging panel.

My suggestions:
1) Skip the audition rounds on television completely. I'd even skip the Hollywood week as well, and start right into what is currently the Las Vegas round. For one, the audition rounds just give the producers an excuse to pass on lackluster or bad singers just as "cannon fodder." For another, it always seems like there are endless weeks before the audience can start to participate in the show. (They can use footage from the audition rounds later on as a part of various packages they show about the contestants.)
2) Find contestants that can sing, then find a story to tell about them, rather than the other way around. This should be a singing competition, after all. And besides, everyone has a story to tell, the show just needs to find out what that story is for the contestants that make it onto the show.
3) Find judges that can give advice, not soundbites. I'd love for the judges to be more like those on "The Sing-Off," where they actually had musical training and could give specific notes on the performance, like a particular measure in the song they had trouble with, or a certain technique they did well.
4) NO DATED THEMES. No Burt Bacharach week, no Leiber-Stoller week, no Lennon-McCartney week. Sorry, they might be or have been great songs, but given the contestants these days were all born in the 90s, those themes are completely non-relevant to them.
I partially agree with #1. I think they should cut the initial audition shows in the various cities way down. Instead of doing 3 weeks of shows on that phase, just do one. I would keep and even expand the Hollywood week portion, though. I really enjoy that phase the best--group singing, etc.--and even enjoy the drama that goes along with that stuff. In "So You Think You Can Dance" they have multiple rounds of cuts each using a different dance style. I would like to see AI come up with a slower way to cut down from the 200 that make it to Hollywood to the 20 that make it to live shows.

As for #2, I find I have become jaded to the "stories" of the contestants. It seems like everyone is trying to win the competition for "their grandma, who raised them and just died two months ago.". It is a rare story that draws me in. I mostly fast-forward through all that stuff.

I totally agree with #3. Ben Folds is such a good judge because he really understands music and isn't afraid to discuss it, but the "Sing-Off" does lend itself to those kind of critiques, more so than American Idol. They really have to stop recruiting people like Mariah Carey. Just because someone is a successful artist in their own right doesn't automatically make them a good or interesting judge.

I agree with #4. I like themes, but they need to keep them current.

I would also cut the number of judges back to 3 or even 2...and then have a star-power guest judge each week. They did something like that one year. Listening to four judges try to talk about about the same bland singers week after week is mind-numbing.

What I discovered this season is that once my early favorites are out of the competition, I lose interest pretty much completely. There is a glut of music competition series on TV right now and I feel really comfortable ditching a show if I am not hooked somehow.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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I don't think they need to revamp the entire show- just get me three judges who know singing, can think on their feet, tell the truth while giving useful constructive criticism, and who don't fall back on lazy catch phrases.

My ideal judge would not only know his/her singing, but also be articulate enough to convey that knowledge. And be confident enough to impart some hard truths without fear of audience reactions. AND have the warmth, empathy and charm to make those hard truths easy to hear. That's hard. Idol has found judges that have had some of those attributes, but I'm not sure that they've had any who possess all of them.

Then spring for some new music from this century and ditch the old theme night crap.
If they have to have themes how about some new ones- how about "breakup songs" or ""dance songs" or "songs made famous by someone not your gender" - the guys would have to sing songs made famous by women & vice versa?

Any thing but freaking "Rat Pack night"- that was old when I was young.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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I stopped watching the show years ago, but I thinks this focus on changing judges to improve ratings completely misses the point of why people like the show. It became a hit originally with very little focus on the judges and all the focus on the singers. Now, the judges think they are the stars of the show. If they would put the focus back on the contestants and get judges who are not afraid to hurt their own careers by being honest, then maybe the show will improve.

Also, to reply to LoadStar's #1: The audition rounds consistently get the best ratings of each season, so I think it's pretty unlikely they'll do away with that.

But the simple fact is that viewers are getting tired of the format. Ratings will continue to decline no matter what they do.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:39 PM   #8
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NO DATED THEMES. No Burt Bacharach week, no Leiber-Stoller week, no Lennon-McCartney week. Sorry, they might be or have been great songs, but given the contestants these days were all born in the 90s, those themes are completely non-relevant to them.
That would probably cause me to stop watching. There are only so many Adele, Beyonce and Bruno Mars covers I can watch.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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That would probably cause me to stop watching. There are only so many Adele, Beyonce and Bruno Mars covers I can watch.
There's an entire world of music out there to be explored.
Why they seem to recycle the same 20 songs is beyond me.
http://www.whatnottosing.com/songs.a...ll&sort=npf#so
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #10
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I do think they need to make major changes to the show, beyond just replacing the judging panel.

My suggestions:
1) Skip the audition rounds on television completely. I'd even skip the Hollywood week as well, and start right into what is currently the Las Vegas round. For one, the audition rounds just give the producers an excuse to pass on lackluster or bad singers just as "cannon fodder." For another, it always seems like there are endless weeks before the audience can start to participate in the show. (They can use footage from the audition rounds later on as a part of various packages they show about the contestants.)
2) Find contestants that can sing, then find a story to tell about them, rather than the other way around. This should be a singing competition, after all. And besides, everyone has a story to tell, the show just needs to find out what that story is for the contestants that make it onto the show.
3) Find judges that can give advice, not soundbites. I'd love for the judges to be more like those on "The Sing-Off," where they actually had musical training and could give specific notes on the performance, like a particular measure in the song they had trouble with, or a certain technique they did well.
4) NO DATED THEMES. No Burt Bacharach week, no Leiber-Stoller week, no Lennon-McCartney week. Sorry, they might be or have been great songs, but given the contestants these days were all born in the 90s, those themes are completely non-relevant to them.
1) I don't think they should skip the Aution rounds, but they need to show more of the actual auditions. At that stage in the game, I don't care to really know anything about these people (and actually, I don't really need to know their backstories at any time). I just want to see auditions. There were a couple of times last season when they showed about 8 actual auditions in a one hour show - the rest was background on people. In a one hour show, they should be showing 30 - 40 auditions (at least parts of them).
2) I could live with that, but no backstories until after the Hollywood round at least.
3) I could live with this too, but I don't mind the soundbites, if they're given advice and direction at another time (don't particularly need to air it).
4) I actually like the themes to see how people do with material they're not familiar with/is in a different style. But they could cut down on them.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:16 PM   #11
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From Clay's appearance on The Apprentice, I would like to see him best. He was pretty honest and ballsy.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:04 PM   #12
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Well, despite the article the OP linked to, in reality we don't reallly have any confirmed new judges. What we now have are three of the four current judges confirmed as departing. Randy Jackson we already knew, and today both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were confirmed as leaving.

http://tvline.com/2013/05/30/mariah-...idol-official/

So far, no word on Keith Urban, but with three of the four gone, somehow it seems somewhat unlikely that they'd keep the fourth.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:18 PM   #13
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I think of the themes as "this week's challenge"

Throw some country singers into motown week
Throw some R&B vocalists into some twang


The ones who are the most versatile seem to do the best. A few seasons ago the judges started pigeonholing contestants into specific genres. I prefer to see them stretched around and tested on unfamiliar material.


That said, the themes need to be updated by a couple decades.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:34 AM   #14
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I hope that Keith Urban stays - he was head and shoulders above the others. Best judge after Simon, IMO. The others were FF material.

Thank you who ever pushed Randy out. His costumes were the only thing worse than his opinions. Hey, I am just keepin' it real, dawg.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:13 AM   #15
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That said, the themes need to be updated by a couple decades.
This, the themes are all so dusty already but that they trot the same ones out every season makes them even lamer.

Each critique is either "Umm, hey, you sang it just like the original" or "Umm, hey, that song is a freaking classic, how dare you alter the arrangement".
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:47 PM   #16
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I hope that Keith Urban stays - he was head and shoulders above the others. Best judge after Simon, IMO. The others were FF material.

Thank you who ever pushed Randy out. His costumes were the only thing worse than his opinions. Hey, I am just keepin' it real, dawg.
Totally agree about Urban. Randy grew on me over the years until I was really sad to see him go.

Part of the trouble is that there isn't that much to say and you don't need 4 or even 3 people saying it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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I thought Urban was great. He gave helpful critiques, and even if he didn't like something, he said it gently rather than meanly. I can see how he would have been a good coach on the Australian version of The Voice.

However, I suspect he'll be out next season on Idol as I think they want to make sweeping changes with less expensive judges.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:58 PM   #18
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yeah, the really need to fix the themes. I can see the Beatles but Burt Bachrach ? Sure, his stuff is iconic and can show off a good singer but it's OLD OLD OLD. No one under the age of 20 gives a rat's a** about Burt Bachrach.

Same goes with letting Harry Connick Jr. mentor for a whole show. Yikes.

And then having an ancient Frankie Valli on the finale show ? Double yikes.

Someone was really asleep at the switch on those choices.

Other dud theme that have got to go are:

Jimmy Iovine's choice
Simon Fuller's choice
Year you were born
Great American Songbook
Motown

And Angie actually sang "MacArthur Park" ?? Jesus H.

AND, get more non-ballads in there. It's all they seemed to do the first 5-6 weeks.

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Old 06-02-2013, 11:24 PM   #19
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yeah, the really need to fix the themes. I can see the Beatles but Burt Bachrach ? Sure, his stuff is iconic and can show off a good singer but it's OLD OLD OLD. No one under the age of 20 gives a rat's a** about Burt Bachrach.
The thing about the Beatles: they were active 50+ years ago. Yes, the band is legendary and they arguably changed rock music forever, but at the same time, I still question how relevant 50+ year old music is to the AI contestants these days. So, yeah, I kind of go back and forth on them.

Even if you set them aside, looking back through the themes that they've done on this show, most are really incredibly out of touch, such as "music from the 1950's," "Leiber & Stoller," "Barry Manilow," "Burt Bacharach," "Rat Pack Music," and the list keeps going. Sometimes it works, such as when Kelly Clarkson did "Stuff Like That There" way back in season 1 for a Big Band Night theme. Those are the exceptions rather than the rule.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:44 AM   #20
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The whole point of the theme shows is to appeal to a demographic in the audience. You have to wonder who they're trying to appeal to with the Burt Bacharach week and whether those people are even watching the show.

I do personally enjoy 80s rock themed episodes though.

I don't agree with eliminating the auditions. I think what has made the show successful is the two-part approach. A long audition phase to see lots of contestants and build some anticipation, and then the real competition phase to build some depth of character.

What really ruined the show for me, and why I haven't watched in several seasons, was the protracted backstories for the contestants. It always felt like every contestant had some sob story. Often they were even introduced during the auditions, which made the audition process seem fake. It felt to me like they were trying to market contestants less on ability and charisma/personality, and more on rehearsed pre-written sob stories. Every sob story sounded the same to me, and I really got tired of them.

I started fast forwarding the sob stories, and then eventually I just quit altogether.

However, really the best thing they could do? Hire Simon Cowell as a judge. Pay him whatever the hell he demands. He was the show. Idol without Simon is like 24 without Jack Bauer.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:52 AM   #21
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My suspicion is they just don't want to pay for anything remotely modern. The old stuff (with the exception of the Beatles no doubt) is pretty cheap, I'd have to guess.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:29 AM   #22
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My suspicion is they just don't want to pay for anything remotely modern. The old stuff (with the exception of the Beatles no doubt) is pretty cheap, I'd have to guess.
If they'd quit paying idiots like Minaj 12 freaking million dollars they could easily pay for some modern music.

THIS is IMO the #1 change they need to make.
Get some knowledgeable people willing to work for a decent but not extremely ridiculous number and update the damn music.
A monkey could see it.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:13 PM   #23
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The problem with the judges pay is to get some one like Keith you have to pay him what he would lose by not touring. The themes are there to draw more of the older people. I am 63 and do like to hear how the younger singers might do with a Beatles song. One of the problems I see is where they pick a song for the singer. That allows the producers to rig the voting. All they have to do is assign one of the singers a song they are not suited for and that gets them voted off. let the producers pick a type of music and then offer each singer either a dozen songs to choose from or let the singer find their own song from that type of music.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #24
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The themes are there to draw more of the older people. I am 63 and do like to hear how the younger singers might do with a Beatles song.
Unfortunately, your demographic is among the least desirable on television. For the most popularly circulated ratings numbers, the Adults 18-49, your viewership is completely discounted.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:19 PM   #25
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Nigel Lythgoe has been officially let go from American Idol.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/06/nige...exec-producer/

... as has Ken Warwick.

http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/reality...193659643.html

The only remaining talent from last year yet to be officially fired/not returning is Urban.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:12 PM   #26
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The only remaining talent from last year yet to be officially fired/not returning is Urban.
While I hesitate to call Seacrest "talent", does anyone know if he's coming back?
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:17 PM   #27
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While I hesitate to call Seacrest "talent", does anyone know if he's coming back?
No word, but it would be shocking if he weren't. I don't have a problem with him; he does the job well enough.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:42 PM   #28
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No word, but it would be shocking if he weren't. I don't have a problem with him; he does the job well enough.
I don't either, but at $15M / year, if they are looking to cut costs, I thought they might be looking at him as well.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:17 AM   #29
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Maybe they should just stop airing the show. I watch the auditions (equally for the good and bad singers), then stop watching. I got almost to the finale of this past season (mostly by fast forwarding thru Nikki's commentary) but eventually lost interest.

Same with the voice - I don't dislike country but i don't really care to sit through hours of people struggling through boring songs.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #30
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Maybe they should just stop airing the show.
Even with the decline in ratings it is still a cash cow.
They'll get a few more years out of it.
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