American Idol Judges: Improvement Over Last Season

The American Idol judges for Season 10, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson are making us forget Simon Cowell.

The Season 10 American Idol judges panel of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson are showing they are better than the panel of judges from Season 9.

I think most viewers thought we would miss Simon Cowell this season but the show has done well in the ratings despite the departure of Cowell. The contestants this year are fortunate to not have to deal with the snarky comments of Cowell.

Kara DioGuardi to me did a great job last season and still don’t understand why she was not allowed to come back for the new season even if it meant having a fourth judge.

Ellen Degeneres was by far the worst judge ever on American Idol and her departure was a foregone conclusion. She was more worried about trying to be funny than judging the contestants. You could almost feel the tension when she tried to make a comment about a contestant. She was clearly uncomfortable in the judge’s role.

To her credit she realized she was not a good fit for the show and left after her first and only season.

All three judges this season are quick to make their comments unlike Degeneres who seemed to be thinking of what to say next as she was talking.

Steven Tyler for the most part has been gracious to the contestants and seems to feel their pain when he makes his critique of their singing.

Jennifer Lopez has been an excellent judge and is quick with judgements of the singers with no dilly dallying around before saying what she wants to say. Her breakdown after telling Chris Medina he was not going home showed she really cares about the contestants.

Randy Jackson the only holdover from Season 9, and the only judge to last the whole series,has been the closest to being the Simon Cowell of the panel. However he  still stops short of being vitriolic as Cowell. He knows what constitutes good music because of his musical background.

One thing for sure is that these judges have picked some great singers for American Idol this season. Last season was not a good one with Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze battling to be American Idol.

Bowersox was good but not in the same class as Kelly Clarkson and  the Season 9 winner DeWyze has recorded an album with good reviews but the sales are not going well.

Since Carrie Underwood won in Season 4, Taylor Hicks won in Season 5 and may be known as the biggest failure of any winner. Hicks started a streak of winners who have not done well  with album sales and are not getting much exposure.

Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Season 7 winner David Cook, Season 8 winner Kris Allen and Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze are not in the same class as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Clarkson and Underwood stand above the other American Idol winners.

Chris Daughtry who finished 4th in Season 5 is by far the best non-winner having sold the third most albums behind Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.

James Durbin could be the Chris Daughtry of the 2011 season but it is questionable if he can sing any song without him hitting high notes. He could be in trouble if they have a Frank Sinatra week or country western week but it will be our chance to see if he can sing well without an extra high note.

Back to the judges, they are poised to have a great season and hopefully they will help the viewers choose an American Idol who will join Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood  as one of the greatest selling Idols ever.



Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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