Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
by Sarah Pilkington, News Editor
I think the concept of American Idol is great. Taking unknown people from all over the world and giving them the chance to live out their dreams is a wonderful idea. However, lately it’s become less about the talent and more about the judging panel.
This past summer an announcement was made that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez would no longer be returning as judges on American Idol. Tyler and Lopez joined the judging panel for season 10 of the popular music show. Along with Randy Jackson, judge of Idol since the beginning, the new judges gave the show a new energy that had been missing the previous season.
Upon hearing the news that neither Tyler nor Lopez would be returning as judges, I was both shocked and disappointed. At first, I was skeptical about the new judging panel for season 10 but after watching them judge seasons 10 and 11, I thought they were great. The talent was better than it had been in quite some time.
This summer, the rumors flew as to who the new judges would be. Famous names included Brad Paisley, Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus, and Adam Lambert to name a few. There was also a rumor stating that Randy Jackson would not be returning. After weeks of speculating and rumors, the new judging panel was finally announced.
Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, and Mariah Carey are joining Randy Jackson as the new American Idol judges for the upcoming 12th season. I had mixed feelings upon hearing the announcement. The three new judges are from completely different genres of music. While it will be interesting to see how each of them judges, this combination seems odd.
While I do have mixed feelings about the new judges, I think it’s about time they added a country artist to the judging panel. Over the past 11 seasons of American Idol many contestants have done extremely well in the country music genre (i.e. Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, and recently Scotty McCreery to name a few). According to the press release on the American Idol website, Urban is a four-time Grammy award winner and has sold more than 15 million albums. Having his expertise on the show will be beneficial for the aspiring country artists competing on the show.
Mariah Carey, who has sold more than 200 million albums and has won multiple Grammys according to the press release, has more than enough experience to guide the contestants throughout the competition. Carey has been in the business for years and to me, choosing her as a judge made the most sense.
When it was announced that Nicki Minaj would also be a judge, I thought it was a joke. Although she has sold millions of albums, Minaj is a much newer artist than both Urban and Carey. Personally, I am not a Nicki Minaj fan. However, I think she would be great at judging the contestants’ ability to entertain audiences. When it comes to judging vocal performances however, I do not think she was the best choice.
With all the talk on who the new judges are going to be, the fact that this is a singing competition seems to be forgotten. Even during seasons 10 and 11 in particular, there seemed to be more of a focus on the judges and their careers. Time will tell how successful the new season, premiering in January, will be and how Urban, Carey, and Minaj will do as the new judges.