American Idol 2013: Should Jimmy Iovine Move From Mentor To Judge?

Jimmy Iovine - American Idol

Given the avalanche of criticism American Idol 2013 judge, Nicki Minaj, has received from many of the show’s viewers, including you, our loyal readers, is it time to replace the controversial judge? And could Jimmy Iovine be that replacement judge?

Jimmy has been permanent mentor to the top 10 contestants since Season 10 of the popular reality show, American Idol.

Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Records has brought countless artists into the spotlight over the course of his hugely successful career as a producer. He has been instrumental in launching the careers of Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dire Sraits and U2. More recently, he has produced hit records for Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg (now Lion), Black-Eyed Peas, Eminem and Lady Gaga. The winner of American Idol Season 12 will be signed to a record deal with Jimmy’s company, Interscope or one of its’ offshoots, A&M Records and Geffen.

There can be no question of Jimmy’s expertise or ability to critique the contestants’ performances on a weekly basis, which he basically does now, but would it be a different result if he were to be sitting in one of the judge’s chairs?

Jimmy is not exactly innocent when it comes to making controversial remarks regarding the contestants’ performances and has even directed plenty of them at the judges themselves. During Top 9 week he specifically called out Mariah Carey for not giving a real critique and asked “what does that even mean?” Jimmy’s opinion of the recently departed Top 9 week contestant, Paul Jolley, “He’s not ready for primetime” was apparently taken to heart by the voters last week as they agreed and voted him off.

A recent feud with Nicki Minaj stemmed from her comment, “I wish he would just zip his lips and let America make their own decisions.” But isn’t that at least part of his job, to give informative and helpful reviews? That is what mentoring is. However, on Thursday nights’ American Idol 2013 episode he agreed with her assessment of the guy’s group performance by saying “There’s a new band in town called ‘Wrong Direction’” and “We found out tonite there’s a difference between the women and the boys.”

Women and Boys? Hmm.

Randy Jackson seems to believe that the judge’s should be able to respond to Jimmy’s comments and remarked in a recent interview, “They’ve got to open up our mics so we can come back at him.”

On Thursday night’s one-hour Top 8 elimination episode Mr. Iovine had the following to say about fan favorite Candice Glover, “In my opinion, she’s not going anywhere but the finals.” He has also made flattering remarks about Janelle Arthur including, “she’s my dark horse.”

Unfortunately, for a few of the contestants, Jimmy’s remarks are not always flattering, which is just how it should be in my opinion in his current role as mentor. Last week, when Lazaro Arbos tried to garner sympathy from the voters (which worked by the way) by saying he was given the song to learn only the day before, Jimmy didn’t hesitate to rebuke that statement by saying, “Everyone had the same amount of time to rehearse. I rehearsed that song with him 5 days ago.” On Thursday’s episode, Jimmy went on to say of Lazaro, “He should listen to somebody”. “At least he should listen to the melody.”

Clearly, Jimmy Iovine can be just as contentious as Nicki Minaj, but would the remarks that viewer’s have called sexist, bullying, over the top or just plain dumb be eliminated from the mix?

Let us know what you think. Would Jimmy Iovine make a good judge on American Idol and should he consider switching to that role?

Source:, American Idol Fox Network




  1. What is so wrong with Nikki?? Nikki gives her honest opinion.. Mariah, on the other hand, talks.. She says nothing.. But either way, not every one will be happy with any panel of judges… (remember all the complaints about jlo)

    • I miss Jlo! And she could manage to walk to her seat just fine on her own—-what’s with those 2 ladies needing to hold on to Randy and Keith?

    • Agree with you. NM is so honest and tells what she feels and thinks. She’s spontaneous. MC is so flat ! she say nothing, and has no personality in this show. I even think she is too smug, she never stand up to applaud a contestant (she must think that she is better than the contestants). I don’t feel MC.

    • I got to go with you on this one. I think her technique is good, Angie was able to stand tall, they all have to learn the hard side of the singing world, I’m sure it’s not all roses.

      • I kinda like some of Nikki’s remarks. However, it was Nikki who single-handedly voted off Devin. Devin Velez is a very good singer, but Nikki thought it wasn’t good enough for the precious one-time judges’ save. I hope Nikki can sleep well with her dissenting opinion. I still maintain that Nikki is a novel addition to the array of boring AI judges.

  2. I like Nikki, I think she’s real and down to earth and gives fantastic advice, she’s the one I enjoy hearing from the most and she usually hits the nail on the head with her feedback. Even though Mariah has YEARS of experience her feedback has no point and no real direction. Nikki is cut and dry and there’s no guessing when it comes to what she’s saying in her critiques. I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t come back.

    • COuld you fill me in on “Maybe you’re too happy and it shows in your song” is helpful?”

      • I think Nicky tried to point out to Janelle that since she substantially “slowed down” her song choice “You Keep Me Hanging On” from its original tempo to show more angst [as Keith put it], Janelle should emote that feeling on her song delivery [instead of looking “happy”]. Frankly, I didn’t see that from Janelle’s performance, and honestly, though, Janelle’s performance of that song was superb, and if she can build onto what she’d shown there, she could have a chance to be the next WGWG winner. [“Girl” instead of “Guy” this time]

  3. Excellent article. I think Jimmie is perfect in the role he presently has to be honest. It allows him to mentor during the week, which is way more important than a couple sounds bytes after a performance. Jimmie can get away with more controversial comments simply because he has more creditability than Nikki for example. Also he makes his comments on tape and not live so is able to change things. Not sure how good he would be sitting in the chair. Anyway Nikki truly has brought out the drama queens of the world. I’d have thought the drama queens would have been Nikki’s fans but AI fans have proven otherwise. Surprised some of your readers haven’t blamed for the escalation of the conflict with N. Korea on Nikki. . I don’t always agree with every critique she makes, and tend to tune out when she rambles on a bit, but at least she makes an effort and says what she thinks something the other judges don’t do for the most part. Personally I think she is the best judge of the lot, but it doesn’t make her right all the time. I don’t listen to her music, but then don’t listen to any of the judges music, although have liked a few bands that Randy has played with, Jean Luc Ponty for example. Still as irritating and controversial as Nikki is, I would take four Nikki’s over four Randy’s, Keith’s and especially Mariah’s any day of the week.

    • You make an excellent point! Jimmy’s comments are taped and he isn’t subject to the pitfalls of making live, presumably unedited remarks. However, I dont know for sure if the judges are given the chance to refine or redo their comments on the taped shows. Thats not to say I sympathize with Nicki. She still needs to filter the nonsense out of her critiques

  4. YES YES YES… get rid of Nikki and put Jimmy in her place. I can’t stand to even look at Nikki any more. If she is still on the show next year I WILL NOT be watching AI at all. I feel so sorry for the contestants and also the other 3 judges and Jimmy because of how Nikki spouts off and acts like she is queen or something. She needs to GO GO GO….

  5. I didn’t like Nikki at first, but I find her critiques are very honest. She give a real critique, instead of just repeating what everyone else says. I do not like her in general. Her dress attire is another story. She is very outspoken and I think shows a little favoritism. But I also find Mariah acts very conceded. She doesn’t stand with an ovation, when all the others do, because her dress is too tight. Poor excuse. She acts like she is too good. Last night it was as if she was trying to get hired by Smokey Robinson. She seemed to praise him more then the contestants. I like Jimmy in the spot he is in.

  6. Jimmy would be a 100% improvement, we record Idol on the dvr & thus when her turn comes we just fast forward we can’t stand her. she is a terrible judge

  7. I feel Jimmy would be a creditable judge, where as Nicki is a joke. These are kids that are on the road to kicking off a possible music career. They do need the constructive criticism but they don’t need a judge that’s going to be rude and embarrass them.

  8. Dump Nikki and put Jimmy in its really that simple
    if she satys on idol I am going to stop watching and I have been watching since year one

  9. I like the role Jimmy plays now with the idols. If he was to replace her I would like to see the judges each take one show and work with the contestants individually like Jimmy does now. I would like to see them not just judging but mentoring one on one also. With or with out Nikki.

  10. Get rid of her. I feel She is rude. Not only to the contestants. But to keith Urbin also. He needs to back hand her.

  11. I think Nikki does a great job … she is always on the ticket . She does have a somewhat unusual style but who wants bland boring judges ..? I found her desire to be the new Mrs Robinson very amusing .. Randy is the one who is becoming out of date if anyone wants my opinion of him .. Keith is always very insightful in his assesments .. but then he is a KIWI …

  12. Now that’s a great idea…Jimmy as replacement for Nicki. Imhave been open minded regarding Nicki till now. She is a potty mouthed, rascist appearing, and mean spirited person…just plain wrong to bring contestants to tears. Prime time viewers including small children should not be subjected yo this language that has to be bleeped every few minutes. I have been watching for every season till now.

  13. Don’t even watch this season after the first couple of weeks. The most Racist season on Record, the judges obviously wanted to eliminate most of the White Girls who sang way better then the likes of “Zo” and others.
    They got rid of at least 4 that could have won on most other seasons. If you’re Going to be racist, at least don’t be so Obvious!

    • Zo was kept to get ratings not because she is black. Which 4 “white girls” do you think sang better than Candice, Amber and the 3 “White Ladies” who made the top 10. The only racism is yours frankly. The 2 African American woman in the top 10 are there for 1 reason. They have the talent and earned it!
      These type of shows always keep unusual people in the mix to generate ratings before the top 10. There was no worry Zo was going to be chosen ahead of the 5 woman who made the show.
      And again I challenge you to name the 4 girls. You’ll get cut to pieces no matter who you mention. Argueably the best 5 woman made the top 10. Though I personally thought Aubry rather than Amber until the 20 and then 10 girl performances. No denying her fantastic voice. But at 18 she just doesn’t generate the charisma that Angie does for example.

  14. Leave Jimmie where he is…behind the scenes doing what he does best – helping everyone achieve their dreams. Definitely get rid of Nikki, and go back to having just 3 judges. Adding a forth (especially 2 woman) was not the best idea in the world.

  15. Nicki sounds great to me…on MUTE!!! Seriously. She has said nothing to help these kids.

  16. I believe that Jimmy is more qualified to judge and he is concerned that Lazaro will keep going though because of his good looks and the sympathy votes because of his stutter, Jimmy wants the best SINGER to win. I love Lazaro but he is not a good singer and it is obvious that he is not comfortable in the spotlight. Devin should not have gone home it should have been Lazaro. I feel sorry for Lazaro because he will be going out on tour with the group and it’s clear that he can not remember the words and gets too nervous on stage. Not sure if Jimmy should replace Nicki but maybe he could voice his opinion before the voting instead of the next night.

  17. I have not been impressed with Nikki at all. I don’t know If Jimmy should replace her but I don’t think she adds anything positive to the show. The way she treats Mariah is reprehensible and disrespectful as are the nick names she gives the contestants. She needs to go somewhere else.

  18. Yessssss nikki is a non talent idiot .. you shoulf have gotten Stevie nicks. ..she would be amazing… but anyone would be better than nikki. What were you thinking american idol.

  19. I feel like American Idol thinks their home audiences are fools and see them swaying everyone towards the girls.During a time in their show which is loosing audience and ratings why screw it up more with tricks to make voting go another way??

  20. I like Nicki. She adds a flare that is needed. She knows what she’s talking about and she’s funny.
    I don’t like how she sits with her back to Randy, rolls her eyes at the other judges and makes it obvious she has favorites. I did not like that she didn’t stand up last night to say goodbye to Devin.
    I hate that there is obvious (or assumed) tension between Mariah & Nicki. Take care of that! Have them sit next to each other!
    I love Jimmy and he would be a great judge.

  21. I believe that Jimmy Should stay where He is, That is where He better serves the people who need Him the Most. ( The singers ) As for Nicki Minaj She can be very rude & has no room to talk about Jimmy.

  22. It doesn’t have to be Jimmy, but somebody needs to replace Nicki and all the judges need to quit being so wishy washy, and bring a little Simon attitude into it.

  23. Get rid of Mariah, her comments are not very helpful. Only need 3 judges. Keep Jimmy in his role as reality check. Judges comment according to their favorites. Jimmy has the industry as well as audience perspective; more balanced view.

  24. I think BOTH Nikki and Mariah should go – Nikki is just too out there and Mariah is so wishy-washy and doesn’t make sense half the time.

  25. I don’t like when Niki gets personal with comments about appearance (and I like Jimmy in the mentor role—he’s spot on)…..Has anyone else felt the awkwardenss with Niki and Mariah? It’s like being at a family gatherng or small party when everyone else knows that 2 people hate each other and it fills the room.That bothers me. Those 2 ladies together make me feel uncomforatable.

  26. Mariah can’t say anything without talking about herself. And here’s the thing, she’s got range…but, she also is over dramatic and uses the range just because she can. Nicki was great in auditions, but now it seems like she’s got a side bet going to see if she’s eliminated before all the contestants. Want to know what’s wrong with what she says?? WAFFLES…need I say more? Mariah, you can self promote all you want and I’ll keep fast forwarding through your brainless banter about yourself. She’s boring, but Nicki’s trying to get kicked off. Poor Keith is just trying to keep it positive and not get his eyes clawed out. Randy is still randy.

  27. Ya I was gonna say, I kind of like Niki’s comments and behaviour. It’s been a fun season,..they bombed on getting a good crew of guys, but that ok time for a girl (amber) to win 🙂

  28. yes yes yes i think jimmy would be a great judge he is impartial he would judge them on how they sing and he tells it like it is

  29. I think everything jimmy said was very relevant, but did he just being relevant AFTER being edited? I don’t think he can do a good talking without any of that editing stuff!

  30. Jimmy’s a good mentor – and should *stay* in the mentor role. Crossing into judgment is unfair to all the contestants. As it is, he plays both mentor and judge. It’s wrong.

  31. I’ll leave this as my opinion solely. 1st Jimmy is right where he should be. He can effect all the artists positively every week. Second I see his honesty of opinion extremely valuable. He tends to not be harsh on the performance show leed ins. That keeps it fair on voting. When we see(the best 5 minutes on idol each week) Jimmy critiqueing on Thursday the voting is done. I think it’s a perfect mix of Jimmy and his opinions are timed fairly for all contestants.
    As for Nikki just plain dreadful. I realize there are fans of hers but she is playing with peoples futures. When she is off on a performance such as Janelles Wednesday I wonder what kind of meds she is on. Janelle was the star of the show! I’m more a Kree 1st fan by the way. They just aren’t getting rid of Nikki this season as I see it. Her contract is likely 2 years not sure if production has an option after 1 but I really hope so. It would be a disaster to bring Nikki back a second season. AI better worry that they don’t run The Voice against AI headsup. AI would get slaughtered. Ask Simon how X Factor did versus The Voice.
    The new judges on the Voice show what good producers can do to keep a show relavent. Shakira and Usher were spectacular on week 1. And AI passed on these 2 for Nikki and Mariah? Maybe AI has just simply run out of steam because the producers just cannot take a fresh approach to tooling the show to improve it any more.

    • I agree that Nikki is most likely going to have to go as she is just too divisive, but still think she is being used by the vast majority of AI fans as a scapegoat for their other frustrations such as AI doing their best to ensure a girl wins this year amongst other issues. I do agree that she got Janelle’s performance this week totally wrong. For the most part though her criticisms have been pretty good. Her other theatrics I’m sure appeal to a certain audience. The Voice is a totally different show, and has been way superior from the very first season in my opinion. Also the panel on the Voice is more to coach than to judge so a totally different dynamic. Seems to have a less drama queen type audience although I suspect that might change over time.

      • Not really as both are contest shows, but then that would be pedantic. Anyway the Voice is back on tonight so hopefully that will get you in a better mood.LOL

      • The father is looking up pedantic I bet. lol. Perhaps it’s more like an obsessive contrariety.

    • Agree Jimmy is exactly where he should be. Instead of moving Jimmy anywhere, find four judges as helpful as Jimmy. Apparently, the producers believe that the judges main job is to entertain the audience. It’s nice, I guess, for the contestants to get compliments. But critiques such as telling Angela she needs to “sing with more passion” are too vague, and even counter-productive, never mind that they contain a truth. Inarticulate advice is advice one cannot act on effectively.

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