MJs Big Blog provides a handy round-up of the changes to come in the upcoming season, among other details of the Lopez-Tyler deal:
**Contestants will get to perform in any genre of music they want, and any themes will be decade-specific, not genre-specific. So no more country/Broadway/Motown week. Three cheers!
**Jimmy Iovine, from Interscope/UMG will mentor the contestants every week, while producers like Timbaland will come in to coach. (For the record, we have no idea what the difference really is between mentoring and coaching.) No more guest mentors, but there might be guest judges.
**Nigel Lythgoe wants to bring the focus back to the talent, not the judges. Uh, a little too late on that one.
**Steven Tyler (whose Aerosmith bandmates are none too pleased with him becoming a judge) is moving from Boston to Los Angeles to be on the show. We assume he’ll have his New England clam chowder flown in daily.
**Jennifer Lopez has a first look deal with FOX, and she’ll develop film and television projects. Which means Matthew McConaughey will be working from now til eternity.
And now, a round-up:
E! Online‘s Kristin Dos Santos spoke with Jennifer’s The Back-Up Plan co-star Alex O’Loughlin (who now stars on Hawaii Five-0), and he believes Jenny will be “great”: “She’s a great girl. She’s got a lot of spunk and she’s got a great sense of humor. So I think she’ll bring a humor edge. She understands musicians and dancers because it’s who she is; it’s where she comes from…I think she’s going to bring something special to the other judges.”
Vulture worries the most about Tyler’s abilities, wondering if he’ll be “too nice”; whether he’s “too old” to get current music; and if he’s “too incoherent” to adapt to expressing himself on live TV: “When you’ve spent decades onstage, cheered by millions for saying the most inane things and constantly complimented by yes-men, your ability to discern what’s actually smart and interesting may be dulled a bit.”
Chicago Now poses ten questions regarding this casting decision, but our two favorite queries are boiled down to the following: “What the fuck does Tyler know about show tunes?” and “Did Fox do this on purpose to make the writing staff of Saturday Night Live‘s jobs easier?”
Entertainment Weekly‘s Michael Slezak already doesn’t think J-Lo knows what she’s doing: “J.Lo’s new-agey, everyone-gets-a-gold-star first impression left me wondering if she understands the role she should be playing as Fox’s venerable-but-vulnerable ratings powerhouse enters the post-Simon Cowell era… In the Idolverse, it’s not only okay to be unflinchingly tough and brutally honest, it’s absolutely necessary.”
Orlando Sentinel just keeps it snarky: “Lopez got top billing in the Fox release, which proclaimed her a ‘global superstar.’ All six people who went to see The Backup Plan have to agree.” Snap! They also think Jimmy Iovine’s mentoring of the contestants “might be the most interesting part of the show.”
Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks keeps it brief and to the point while tweeting her delight with the annoucement: “JLo was so sweet when she was my mentor on Idol! I think she’ll do great! And Steven Tyler? I love him! Can’t wait to watch! :)”
Season 6′s runner-up Blake Lewis sent out his own press release: “The judges are fresh for the 10th season of Idol. I am ready to see Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler take over. I love that this season’s panel now includes judges who have made a career as performers and I can’t wait to see what antics these two will bring to that table. As long as this year’s contestants are diverse and true to the stage, I’ll be in the front row of my living room just like the rest of America.”
Carly Smithson (from Season 7 and We Are The Fallen) tells Celebrity Cafe, “I think it’s a great choice for a really high profile star, a major, major star to critique the people.” She added, “I would like to get a critique by someone I know has really done their time, made it, and has a catalog and experience to show for it.”
As for us, Idolator’s one hope for Idol Season 10 is that Tyler and Lopez make some great TV and find some unique talent. Easier said than done, though. And if Lopez is seriously on the hunt for “the next Michael Jackson” and she’s looking for him on a television singing competition, we think she’s going to wind up as disappointed as all of the surly bloggers we listed above.
What do you think of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joining Idol? Will they be able to save this sinking ship and give Simon Cowell’s The X Factor some strong-willed competition? And does this mean both Tyler and J-Lo’s careers as musicians over and their careers as TV personalities have just begun?