Judge-Starved 'Idol' Sparks Media Frenzy
July 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM (PT)
If you believe that all publicity is good publicity, then "American Idol" is hitting 11 on a 10-scale. After STEVEN TYLER and JENNIFER LOPEZ excused themselves from judging next year's competition, with sourced rumors adding that RANDY JACKSON may leave the panel for a behind-the-scenes role, multiple media sources are throwing names of possible judges in the mix, while others wonder if this spells the beginning of the end for the show.
Adding to the list of possible judges are MARIAH CAREY and ARETHA FRANKLIN. However, each have their "issues." With CAREY, according to CELEBUZZ, it might be her salary demands. "I don’t know if they can afford MARIAH," CAREY husband NICK CANNON told TMZ. "That’s a lot of money. If they gave JLO $20 million, they might have to double that!"
In FRANKLIN's case, FOX NEWS reports that the QUEEN OF SOUL wants the producers to also hire friend PATTI LABELLE as a judge. The other issue is even more problematic: FRANKLIN's afraid to fly, which would make it difficult for her to go state to state for the initial auditions. A friend told THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, ""She would love that gig. It pays millions of dollars and she could stay put [in one place] for a few months to do it ... [but she] still doesn’t fly."
The judge problem could be indicative that the show's shelf life is drawing to a close, which hasn't gone unnoticed by the power-at-be at FOX. ABC NEWS reports that NEWS CORP COO CHASE CAREY told WALL STREET analysts recently that "we probably didn't do enough" to retool it last season, adding, "Our challenge for next year is to put some fresh energy in."
USA TODAY's "Idol" commentator BRIAN MANSFIELD also told ABCNEWS.COM, "I think this is the real beginning of the end. You could look at it as when SIMON left, but coming off a year where the ratings were down as much as they were and this revolving door of judges, I think we will look back and say this is were the slide started."