Credit: AP Photo
If it wasn’t obvious before, it is more so now: “American Idol” is making some bad decisions.
I’m speaking specifically in regards to reports indicated that Jennifer Lopez
is next in line to fill a chair at the judge’s table.
The strongest rumors have indicated that Steven Tyler may be judge #3, but today, it seems to be but a press release away that Lopez has signed on.
Jennifer Lopez is great to look at, would be recognizable to “AI’s” core audience and could bring a wealth of knowledge to the high-topped table. Could.
The singer/dancer/actress’ job for the last handful of years has been managing her celebrity status, at times, even more than her artistry. Her last hit, “Do It Well,” did OK in 2007 (her Latin pop hit that same year did better), and her newest single “Louboutins” is more of a punchline than an indicator of success. She’s at a point in her career when she’s on the defensive to stay relevant and she’s been guarded -- and rightfully so -- in public appearances. And she did a fine but forgettable job mentoring on “AI.”
This all doesn’t bode well for a personality who needs to bring new spark and critical necessity back to the show, after a dismal drop in viewership this past season and the loss of a certain cranky British man who guaranteed tearing into mediocrity as much as he did the mush pile. “American Idol” set and nurtured its own archetypes for the first handful of years of the series – the “dawging” Randy, the loose screw in her second act (Paula Abdul) and the spiky Simon Cowell
. Ellen was funny, but didn’t have any claws; Kara was savvy but dispensable.
At this juncture, I wouldn’t trust Lopez to be the entertaining critic, and she can’t be the sage second act if she hasn’t finished redefining her first. She shows no signs of giving up on making new music, and being on "AI" isn’t going to turn her back into “Jenny from the Block.” Even if she signs the dotted line for her own financial and career uptick, she’d better turn her eyes to what matters. What she needs is a hit, or a great script -- not a judge spot on a reality television show. And what “AI” needs is a marquee entertainer, and not a reserved one in the frantic throes of self-reinvention. It’s hard to tell who’s more desperate.
What do you think? Would J-Lo make a good AI judge?