'American Idol' judges update: Why no official announcement on Steven Tyler?
Image Credit: Jason Kempin/FilmMagicDude may look like an American Idol judge, at least according to a number of Internet reports that surfaced on Tuesday, so how come there’s been no official announcement that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will take a seat at the Idol judges’ table when season 10 callback auditions begin filming in mid-September? Spokespersons at Fox, Idol, and FremantleMedia all declined comment when contacted by EW, but a source with inside knowledge of the world’s most high-profile job search insists “there’s nothing to announce yet.” In fact, says the insider, Fox execs are hoping they can get the entire panel locked into place, then “make one, big splashy announcement, but they’re not quite there yet.” So how much longer is the Idoloonie nation expected to hold its collective breath? “If I was the betting type, I’d say there’ll be something official announced by the end of next week. But that can all change at any second,” adds my source. “Still, what’s the rush? This is, what, the third or fourth time media outlets have ‘confirmed’ the Steven Tyler rumor? All this water-cooler buzz isn’t such a bad thing for a show that a lot of pundits would love to try to paint as finished.” Indeed, to paraphrase a classic bit of Monty Python, Idol‘s not dead yet!
One other factor delaying the final announcement about who — and how many — will fill the chairs that were occupied in season 9 by Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and the definitively exiting duo of Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell: The fact that producers consider the chemistry among its roster of judges just as — and perhaps even more — important than individual star wattage. “We’ve seen over the last two years some really great people that haven’t fitted together, as far as I’m concerned,” returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said in an interview with EW earlier this month. “Don’t forget, [when Idol first started] we introduced two people you’d never heard of — Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson. It doesn’t always need this [element of], ‘They’ve done this, they’ve done that!’”
And so while Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson have been widely rumored as the clear front-runners for a revamped, three-member panel, at the end of the day, they’re scattered pieces of a very high-profile puzzle, and all of us will have to wait and see if the hands behind the show pick ’em up and lock ’em into place.
What do you think of a Tyler-J.Lo-Randy panel? Is there anyone else the producers should be considering as a last-minute addition? And even though I know you’re probably going to say “Hell yeah,” I also have to ask: Are you experiencing Idol rumor fatigue yet? Sound off in the comments, and to get all my Idol-related news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.