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American Idol, the country’s highest rated reality competition, is back for its tenth season, and outside the competition itself, there is nothing typical or ordinary about the upcoming Idol experience.

Jennifer Lopez American IdolSteven TylerIn years past, a hopeful teenager would stand in front of the world and put their dreams on the line. And in succession, one judge would be  honest and straightforward, one judge would fill the room with sunshine, and one would have been sure to stab the contestant with a cold and scathing comment that would pop their proverbial bubble.

This season, though, the Idol judicial panel has been revamped, bringing two Grammy Award-winning musicians to the table. Jennifer Lopez, the highly praised actor, singer, dancer, and Steven Tyler, the legendary rock front man to Aerosmith, will join veteran judge and smooth producer Randy Jackson on the Idol stage.

“We bring a different perspective, I think, than any of the previous judges really have before,” Lopez said. “We just do, we’re artists – we’ve been up there, we’ve auditioned, we’ve been through the ranks.”

Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer, said the new panel of judges will be able to give more of a critique, rather than simply saying “pack your bags, you’re going home.”

“I would say we didn’t see it in you and you got too much attitude, you need to bring the full thing,” Tyler said. “Even though the best of us have the best attitudes, you gotta have the whole deal, you gotta have the voice, you gotta have what it’s all about.”

begging girl american idolJackson, who has been with the show since the beginning, said that the loss of former judge, Simon Cowell, will not stop Idol from being the powerhouse that it is.

“We definitely love him and miss him, and I think he was a great addition to the show,” said Jackson. “But I think what we’ve added now with these two superstars, I think the show is going to be a huge success – you’re going to see a lot of interesting things.”

One of the most truly unique changes is the new dynamic found between Jackson, Lopez and Tyler. While other seasons have been filled with bickering and animosity, the new trio has found a way to cut-up, joke and truly enjoy the audition process, which brings a comic relief to what used to be some truly uncomfortable moments.

“You knew this was gonna happen when you got people like us,” Lopez said.

Among some of the highlights in episodes to come, Lopez consoles a star struck fan from Jersey, Tyler drops the F-bomb and even hits on a 15-year-old girl, among many of the hilarious asides that keep this the most humorous Idol auditions ever.white costume american idol

The most dynamic overhaul of the show is the new grand prize: the winner of this year’s competition will be personally signed to Interscope Records by its chairman, Jimmy Iovine, who will join the Idol team as a mentor to the competitors.

Iovine is most widely known as being the man who handed Eminem’s demo to Dr. Dre, however he is also responsible for shaping the careers of the Black Eyed Peas, No Doubt and Lady Gaga.

“My role is to help make sure that we find an original voice,” Iovine said. “They will be picking their own songs, but I help with coaching – if they’re going off in the wrong direction, I’m making sure they’re in the right key.”

Yet not everything has changed on Idol. Returning to the show is the hardest working man in Hollywood, Ryan Seacrest, who will continue to serve as host.

“I’m inspired by the new life here, and I love it,” Seacrest said. “There’s a genuine camaraderie with this group; we’ve known each other for a long time [and] we get along very, very well – It will, hopefully, be a little bit of a circus.”

The new American Idol premieres on January 19, 2011 and will continue to shock and entertain audiences throughout the auditions and the live competition. Idol airs Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 8/7c on FOX.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 118 - September 2018
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