“American Idol” may be off the air until early 2020, but that’s not stopping our crack team of reality TV aficionados (myself, senior editor Susan Wloszczyna and contributor Denton Davidson) from discussing the show’s future. In our recent finale video recap, we offer up some constructive criticism for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. Should this trio return to the judging panel next year for Season 18, there are some things that absolutely, positively need to change. Watch the video below.
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“I do want all three judges to come back, I just feel like they really need to get more constructive and less positive,” I state at the 12:55 minute mark. “I think they’re just so worried about hurting people’s feelings. They just need to get over that. They’re judges. They’re getting paid millions of dollars to do this.” Sure, there were times that the judges gave practical feedback — like when Katy told Laine to quit playing it safe and to “scare himself” — but those moments were few and far between.
Denton chimes in, “I see those old clips of how harsh it used to be” back in the early Simon Cowell days. “It wasn’t always mean, sometimes it was just legitimate criticism, and it was just more interesting to watch. And the contestants didn’t go sobbing and give up. I think it pushed them further.” He adds, “I wouldn’t be upset with some shuffling of judges, but sometimes you wish for something and it turns out worse than you had it before. These three are fine.”
“Well, apparently they’re a little expensive,” notes Susan about the multi-million dollar price tags for Katy, Luke and Lionel. “I would love to see other people who can sing — I think it helps that they’re not producers or whatever; Simon was an exception — and have a good mesh and a good mix of different voices trying to help these people do better.”
Should the current “American Idol” judging panel opt not return for Season 18, we have a couple of potential ideas for replacements. “I would love Bette Midler to be on,” suggests Susan. “She could do it all herself and I would watch.” I then offer up Adam Lambert, former runner-up to Kris Allen and current Queen front-man, as long as “his schedule allows.”
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