Credit: Michael Becker/FOX Photo: Judges Listen in Season 10, Episode 9: Hollywood Round 2

Welcome to another juicy edition of “You Ask, We Answer”! Each week, we’ll be answering some of your burning questions about American Idol. Tweet your questions to @AmIdolFansite or post them on our Facebook page. Nothing is off the table, so bring it!

How do the judges put up with all the crazies?
We’re not sure how they do it, but we do have a few ideas why they might be able to find the patience:

  • They’re being paid millions of dollars, so it’s worth it to put up with a few on-the-job annoyances.
  • They’re willing to put up with them because they know that the wildest contestants often mean big ratings for their show!
  • They feel pretty confident about their safety with all of the beefy security guys who are working behind-the-scenes.



Why doesn’t American Idol ever showcase anyone from Maine? There have been a few ppl on AI from Maine but we never get to see them?
No matter what state you’re from, it seems the best ways to get your audition on Idol are to have a touching or funny back story, blow the judges away with your talent, or…well, be one of the “crazies.” If you don’t fall into one of those categories, it’s harder to get camera time. (But now that you bring it up, we’d love to see Maine represented on Idol!)

Do all the people (even the ones who get very upset and mad when they are told they are not moving on) have to sign a consent to be on television?
Fox definitely has that covered! Before a contestant tries out for the show, they must sign a release form that includes the following passage:

“…I further understand that my appearance, depiction and/or portrayal in the Program may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature which may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation.”


Do the judges have a say on who they'd like to have during Mentor Week?
It seems producers book the show, and judges just show up for it. But we’re pretty sure that judges can at least suggest their high-profile friends for different roles on the show. After all, Kara DioGuardi suggested Steven Tyler to be a judge last year, and that worked out for Steven.

Do you think providing backstories on some contestants in the first round makes the playing field uneven for those who's backstories were not spotlighted?
It definitely makes it harder for those contestants in the first rounds of the live shows. When they are first announced as finalists, we usually look at them and think, “Who the heck is that?”  But as the show continues, talent and star appeal is what really counts. A classic example: Season 4 top two finalist Bo Bice’s audition video didn’t even air on the show until they played it for him at the finale.