With the infamous profanity-laced feud between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, a revealing so-called fiction book that makes the folks at American Idol look like harsh dictators, and Nicki’s continuing antics (including being late to a live show), season 12 has certainly seen its share of drama. None of that has helped the American Idol ratings, however, and the rise of the popularity of The Voice 2013 isn’t helping. Now, we’ve caught word that the producers were so desperate to get the show back to its previous standings, they almost replaced Mariah Carey mid-season with former judge Jennifer Lopez. Gasp!
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Mariah Carey wasn’t happy with this at all, dahlings, and even threatened litigation. With that, American Idol 2013 producers dropped the plan but apparently are still negotiating with Jennifer Lopez to appear on the finale. We don’t get that part — would she be a 4th judge or are they planning on having her perform? Or will it just be another cameo like Paula Abdul's recent pop-in? Now we’re lost!
THR reported the same insiders have said that, in lieu of mid-season replacements, producers are now looking toward next season, and are planning to possibly replace the whole panel. While we’d be fine with Randy Jackson, who has a been there-done that feel to him, and Mariah, whose long-winded, rambling feedback adds nothing to the show, but we’re not so sure about Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj. Keith has been a surprisingly delightful (and sane!) addition to the panel (and wonderful eye candy) and, although Nicki has been unprofessional, she keeps the show in the headlines.
For what it’s worth, a FOX spokeswoman says “This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor...” and Nigel Lythgoe said, “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.”
As THR points out, American Idol nemesis, The Voice, has seen their ratings climb to an impressive 5.2 in the adults 18-49 demo, while American Idol ratings have seen a steady decline all season, and was even recently beat by a repeat of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
Another unnamed source has said that Idol producers are looking for “not necessarily a star” to join the show. As THR says, “That might include a music professional with strong credentials.” But, wait, didn’t they already try that with Kara DioGuardi?
We’ve often said the show should add a popular American Idol winner or alum, like Carrie Underwood or Adam Lambert. As for the format, the show would do well taking a page from The Voice’s playbook by having the judges interact in a much less formal way. What do you think could help the show get back to its former status as a ratings juggernaut?