Is American Idol 2013 Testing the Waters For The Return of Former Judges?

Paula Abdul on American Idol

American Idol’s Season 12 panel of judges have endured no end of criticism. From the inappropriate remarks of Nicki Minaj to the inability of Mariah Carey to put her thoughts into a cohesive sentence.

According to a recent report, Idol producers and executives of the Fox Network, quietly entered into negotiations with Jennifer Lopez, who sat at the judge’s table for Seasons 10 and 11 of Idol. The negotiations were said to center around JLo returning to American Idol 2013 and joining the group of judges before the end of the current season. The plan to shake things up and hopefully provide a desperately needed boost in the ratings, was abruptly abandoned when Mariah Carey threatened litigation after learning of the plan.

A Fox spokesperson said in a statement that “This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talk of Jennifer (Lopez) performing on the finale”. Producer, Nigel Lythgoe said, “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.”

On last Thursday night’s episode, former judge, Paula Abdul made a surprise appearance, ostensibly to congratulate contestant, Candice Glover on her performance of Paula’s hit, “Straight Up.” The audience was thrilled to see the former judge back and gave her an enthusiastic round of applause as she re-claimed her seat at the judge’s table, albeit only temporarily.

American Idol has taken an alarming dive in the ratings with their core demographic of adults aged 18-49. And the numbers have been declining steadily each week. The weekly performance episode on Wednesday is rating the worst numbers since the series debuted in 2001.

There has been much discussion and many opinions offered as to what Idol should do to revamp the current panel of judges. Is the rumor regarding JLo and the appearance of Paula Abdul meant to test the waters for their possible return to Amerian Idol next season? Tell us what you think.

Source: Fox Network,,




  1. NOTHING is going to save this show except for the return of simon cowell and there are two chances of that happening…slim and none

    • There has got to be 3 artists out there who would have good chemistry and give good critiques. There has to be! Idol should audition the judges. Put each one on for a short trial period and see how well they work together and what the viewers’ reaction is. It may take an entire season to find the right 3 but then they’d be ready for the following season.

      • There are 3 judges…… Any 3 of the four judges on the voice this season. They’d bring some class back to this bicker fest. By the way I forgot about Kara who was mentioned previously. She was wicked!!!

    • simon is very over rated.
      i mean come on.
      i was fine with steven tyler and j lo.
      but the new panel really sucks.
      i mean x factor is terrible. and simon is on that. simon didnt make the show. the show just has becamed snooze fest.

    • I still want the three original judges to come back, especially if its the last season…..They were the best. Chemistry wise, between Paula and Simon was the best.

  2. Simon Cowell is having trouble finding judges on the X Factor. This is due to the overwelming work they’d have to do versus AI and the Voice. Judge’s on the X Factor have to wear many hats. Example, judge, mentor, Producer, Pycologist, promoter, music arranger, dance coreographer, etc.. That’s why the voice has little trouble geting people because all the work is already done for them when they arrive. AI has some more with traveling and auditioning of contestants, but not nearly as much as the X Factor. The latter may copy the Voice in this respect and make it easier for the celbrity judges .Plus they could have some training prior to being thrown into the judges seat!

    • Is that really the case though? I know X factor presents that but I
      assumed all of the shows relied heavily on a supporting cast to do the
      majority of the preparation and work. I admit AI judges only judge, and
      Jimmy only has a short meeting with the contestants. Not sure, outside
      of the travel involved with X factor, where there is a much of a
      difference in the work load between that show and the Voice.

    • You have got to be kidding. Lee Dewyze? No one even remembers him! He’s done nothing as winner of American Idol. That season, the girls helped him rob Siobhan of the title.

  3. How bout different judges every week?
    i mean one week it could be randy jackson, paula abdul, steven tyler, next week kara dioguardi, ellen, and bon jovi, next week
    Brett Michaels, Carrie Underwood, and Kelly Clarkson. just like change it every week. and keep it interesting. and that way their cant be “Favoriets”

    • Yes. Thats what I was thinking too. I’m sure they would have a much larger group to choose from if they only had to commit to 1 or 2 weeks on the panel. And like you said, there would be no playing favorites. The mudges should be completely objective and this way they would have to be.

    • I am sorry, but that would be a TERRIBLE idea. I mean, just put yourself in that situation. You’ll judge the contestants live for the first time (hypothetically) during Top 12 or Top 10 week and won’t see them again until like Top 7. You basically would be wasting your time telling them what to do to better themselves when you won’t see them again for weeks. What you tell a contestant during your turn as judge could be completely different from what the judge the following week would tell you to do and that could confuse the contestants. What’s more, you won’t really care for them much because you won’t grow a connection to them. The judges would hardly see each other and that would be a cause for lack of chemistry, which is a problem we saw this season. We don’t want that any more. And I doubt judges will sign a contract that has them coming back and forth.

    • This is a possibility. It is rumoured Randy is taking over Jimmy’s mentoring role next season though. They need a country person. They may just keep Kieth. Another option is to bring in a former winner. That would spike ratings especially if Carrie was the new judge.

  4. I do not watch due to the 2 female judges, BORING, if you brought back Paula, Jennifer, Steven or Simon, I would watch faithfully as I have in the past. I have watched 4 full shows and to me that was 4 to many. Sorry.

  5. Keep ONLY Randy. Keith & Mariah are nice but have nothing to say and Nikki (aka. the blowup doll) is an abomination. Bring back Jennifer & Steven.

  6. Nikki has ruined this for me..and Mariah just likes them all ..Please bring back Paula and this show but can’t stand who sitting on the panel with Randy

    • The demise of AI is premature I think…If they get their act together next year with a great panel…get rid of two air heads…and put on someone who has personality, class and objectiveness…then AI will be back on top…I really do not watch because I cannot stand Minaj…she is a detriment to the panel..and should be fired

  7. Mariah acts like her crap don’t stink. She hardly stands when the rest give a standing ovation. Even the way she lightly claps makes her look like she is above everyone else. And what is it with the accent? I liked her before seeing her on here. She said her dress was too tight to stand up the one time, well wear something not so tight. She has gained weight and maybe should be changing some of her attire. As far as Nicki, she is harsh, but I find her more realistic. I’d just like to see her with one color hair and stop going on about where she came from and how hard it can be to succeed.

  8. I’d love to see Paula return. I didn’t think I would like Nikki but I ended up liking her (as a judge).

    • yeah, me too, but we are in the minority! I only watch her critique, and she is usually right on, no candy coating!

  9. I think they should just let Idol die a slow death. I can’t think of any way to pull it out of the depths that it has sunken to.

  10. I would love to see Paula and J Lo back. Maybe they should rotate one judge a week and have three stable judges. Randy should stay.

  11. Talk about someone having the inability to put their thoughts into a cohesive sentence, that would be Paula Abdul. I mean really? How could anyone in their right mind think that Paula Abdul can make a complete sentence? I’ve watched Idol for years, except this year, and all I could ever hear from Paula was just babbling. I could not make sense of what she was ever trying to say.

    I don’t understand why anyone could criticize Mariah Carey for anything. She has the most talent than all the current judges put together. Look at how long she’s been in the business? Look at how many records/cd’s she has sold through out her career. Maybe it’s perhaps all the bickering and butting in caused by Nicki Manaj that prohibits Mariah from actually talking or making an assessment. No one has a better voice than Mariah except for Steven Tyler. Steven Tyler isn’t coming back, not anytime soon. He’s in the midst of touring and recording and keeping Aerosmith on the continuous right track. Jennifer Lopez isn’t coming back anytime soon because she has several projects going on and she wants to put more focus on them.

    I think great judges would be Jon Bonjovi, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Randy Jackson, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Don Henley, Paul Rodgers, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart,Celine Dion,Vince Gill, Elton John, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw,Michael Bolton, Paul McCartney, Bret Michaels, Gary LeVox and so on.

    Get some vocalist that have a tremendous amount of talent and have been in the business and know what they are talking about.

    It’s not a popularity contest as Simon always said. It is a singing competition!

  12. I don’t watch Idol for the judges, I watch for the contestants. And it’s NOT been about them this season. That is what’s wrong with Idol and why they’re losing viewers. They’ve all but shoved a girl winner down our throats this season. Um, maybe they’re losing viewers because a core demographic of young girls and women want to watch GUYS singing that are actually good singers. I respect Candice and Kree and the other females this season, but it’s incredibly boring now without ANY guys left in the mix!

    Unlike others, I actually sort of like Nicki. She’s one of the few things that’s not boring this season! I don’t like her comments about the girls’ looks and wanting to “marry” them, but her comments are funny and she’s not afraid to tell someone when they sang poorly. The other judges are too nice and rarely offer criticism.

    Moving forward, Idol should keep Keith and Randy and seek only a third female judge. Four judges is too many. Paula is too incoherent to bring back. JLo did not add anything to the show.

    • Agree! Nikki is not afraid to tell them the truth. I have grown to like her and laugh at her. Paula always seemed drunk or stoned. Jimmy is a good coach, since he’s a producer…leave him as the coach. The other judges are just too nice with no decent advice or critiques.

    • Good point about the absence of the guys – the girls are definitely missing them and it takes a lot of interest away for that demographic.

  13. My two cents worth on demise of American Idol.

    You have been so right on most of your comments on the
    demise of Idol, but let me throw in a few other things that both viewers who
    have followed this show since its inception.
    In no particular order:

    Song selection seems to be geared to only
    current genres versus mega hits that will appeal to all age groups, including
    seniors who have been a big part of the audience.

    The recurrent standing ovations by judges who
    should be impartial and not show favoritism.
    Most young singers of this caliber are just starting out and not worthy
    of such accolades. Standing O’s have
    become so abused in these days, not only in Idol, they mean nothing to me.

    The dress of the judges is pathetic, even since
    the days Simon started it with his t-shirt appearances. These people are professionals and should
    dress like it.

    The self-adulation and king-acting of Ryan’s
    weekly appearance walking down the long stairs when introduced.

    The over production of many numbers this year
    and previous years to the point that you can’t hear, see, or concentrate on the

    Let’s get rid of all the judges, Randy included,
    and get some good, clean, appropriately dressed judges that have a well-rounded
    expertise in music. Let’s not evaluate
    production values at this point, that will come later.

  14. Randy got to go and Jimmy as coach has seriously seen better days. I think Keith Urban is the most honest and has the best professional feedback out of all of them. But PLEASE PLEASE get rid of Randy AND Jimmy.

  15. I think a big reason why the numbers are declining is because of the fact that there are no guys left in the competition. When numbers first started going down it was a direct (or indirect) result of Nicki Minaj (though I personally think she is great). For the latter half, we have no outstanding good-looking guys, and thus people are even more reluctant to watch the show. Idol’s plan this season was to get a girl winner, and they succeeded albeit at the cost of losing viewers. Just wait and see when they change the Judges next season and they don’t make much of an effort to force America to have a girl winner; ratings will shoot back up.

  16. I think it’s hilarious how everyone loved Simon but hate Nicki. I say keep Nicki, get someone crazy like Steven was, and someone professional.

  17. It would be nice to see Paula Abdul back in the show. She may not be as straightforward or frank as Simon but she can surely send her message across, be it a praise or a criticism. The AI producers should start negotiating with her and, hopefully, give her what she rightfully deserve in terms of salary.

  18. Once the voting by the public starts I don’t really pay much attention to the judges. I watch the show for the contestants, not the judges

    • I loved Steven, JLo and Randy…What possessed them to hire Nikki Minaj who really can’t sing a note..(ever see her rap videos?) Terrible! The woman knows nothing about singing, and the remarks she makes are inappropriate and obnoxious….I stopped watching AI because of her…I don’t miss Simon…but I do miss the former panel…they were sincere, classy and objectively honest, but not hurtful..
      To the suits at AI…Get rid of Minaj..

  19. Most comments are correct about Simon being such a huge part of Idol. But I contend the nexxis is gone with him and her…Paula. They were a great team and was a very good sport! A true Diva!!

    • Simon needs Paula and Paula needs Simon – and Idol has definitely suffered in their absence. I like X-factor some, but Simon isn’t as good or fun to watch without Paula. He simply can’t find another match that works next to him.

  20. They could stop trying to manipulate the public with ridiculous critiques. Give that a try. Go with the approach they use on the Voice – applaud everyone and keep the negativity to yourself. Let the audience simply enjoy the performances and decide what to think all by ourselves… Stop acting like we’re too ignorant to handle it. I don’t want to hear these judges continue to tell me what to think. I don’t want to hear Randy say “She’s in it to win it” one more flipping time, for crying out loud. I don’t want to see Amber over-sold and Candice under-sold and Angie getting a standing ovation because she played the piano, even if the singing was lackluster. I want some honest appreciation for the beautiful blues coming from Kree every time she sings and Candice! Holy cow! Let’s be honest – if you put her face and voice on Amber’s body, nobody could beat her. But even after everyone got pissed when Cowell called you-know-who fat, it still matters to the judges. Otherwise, we wouldn’t keep hearing about Amber’s legs and her Beyonce good looks that they’re pimping constantly. When I watch the Voice, I enjoy great singing and a lit of laughs and comaraderie from the judges. And I never hear a negative critique of a singer, never. When they eventually start “selling” theur own contestant, at least they have the competition with each other to excuse it – and they still do it in fun. And they are supportive and kind to all of the contestants. No audience manipulations. Just entertainment. That’s all I want.

  21. They need to get rid of that Nikki Minaj…This was the biggest mistake AI made in 12 years…I would start watching again if Paula comes back…I have boycotted AI because they continue to have her as a judge when the suits all know she is an illiterate boob and a detriment to the panel…

  22. niki and Mariah are both in love with their selves. niki ” can’t have a intelligent conversation, Mariah sits there playing with her hair looking into space. Finally Kieth tells the truth to the contestants. this season is the worst. SIMON WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. I think they need to get rid of Randy.. Im sorry but his comments can be irritating sometimes.. Keith is okay, he is honest, he can stay, i like nikki but AI can live without her. Mariah? Although she can be incoherent most of the times but lately she is becoming more articulate and although she is too kind with her critiques there can only be one person that can be a JUDGE to new singers and that is the ultimate/multiplatinum/most number 1 song in charts Ms. Mariah. So i think the best panel of Judges is Keith (country) Mariah (diva/pop/rnb) Steven Tyler (rock and for male voice perspective) and i think Jimmy Since he is the most honest and on point in judging.

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