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Emmys 2017
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Exclusive: Ex-''Idol'' contestants judge the judges

EW.com exclusive! Ex-”Idol” contestants Kimberley Locke, Anthony Federov, and Ace Young share their thoughts on the folks who once critiqued THEM: Randy, Paula, and Simon

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Ace Young: Mark Sullivan/WireImage.com; Anthony Federov: Mike Guastella/WireImage.com; Kimberley Locke: Michael Bezjian/WireImage.com

For five years, American Idol‘s contestants have had to stand center stage and (more or less) quietly take in the withering criticisms, dithering squabbles, and occasional praise of judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. But now, we’re letting a few of them turn the tables: EW.com has exclusively enlisted former Idol contestants Kimberley Locke (third place in season 2), Anthony Federov (fourth place in season 4), and Ace Young (seventh place in season 5) to critique the judges each week. (Season 3 finalist Amy Adams will join our panel next week.) Much like Idol, everything is fair game, from quips to coifs, verbal gaffes to fashion don’ts. And, yes, on occasion, the judges can even be right. (With additional reporting by Shirley Halperin)


Anthony Federov will star in The Fantastiks, the longest-running Off Broadway musical in history, in May. He is also the 2007 spokesperson for the Sarcoma Foundation.

Kimberley Locke just released a new single, ”Change,” in advance of her April album Based on a True Story (Curb Records), and the song has already broken into the top 20 on the Adult Contemporary charts. (Previously, her ”8th World Wonder” was a top 10 Billboard hit.) Currently finishing up her stint on the upcoming season of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club, she will also be a new spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

Ace Young is working on an album with Desmond Child. His current single, ”Scattered,” can be heard on his MySpace music profile.

NEXT PAGE: The panelists’ thoughts on Randy…