'Idol' Settled for J.Lo After a Pair of Big Names Passed
By Rob Shuter Posted Aug 3rd 2010 08:45AM
Jennifer Lopez has yet to officially announce that she's the newest judge on 'American Idol,' however, sources tell me the job only became hers after several big-name celebrities said "thanks, but no thanks."
"J.Lo was definitely not the first choice," an 'Idol' insider tells me. "In fact, she wasn't even the second or third choice."
My source tells me that before they approached Lopez, producers first asked Elton John and Barry Manilow to join the hit -- but starting to struggle -- show. Both are undeniably great singer-songwriters who have mentored contestants in prior seasons, so it wouldn't have been a stretch.
Has 'American Idol' run its course? PopEater asked New Yorkers -- see the video:
Alas, neither Elton nor Barry wanted to start a whole new career as a TV judge.
"It became clear that neither performer was ready to stop doing what they did best, writing and performing," the 'Idol' insider says. "Plus, they are international legends. They certainly don't want their legacy to be [as] the guy that replaced Simon Cowell on 'Idol.'"
Once producers realized it was going to be impossible to get an artist who was still selling millions of concert tickets and CDs to join the show, they started to look at celebrities whose careers were basically stuck in neutral. They settled on artists who needed the exposure of a national TV show as much as the troubled show needed them. That's when they turned to Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez.
► Earlier: How J.Lo's Manager Snagged Her the Job
"Let's face facts," one insider tells me. "Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez's careers are in a slump. They are still big names, but haven't sold out solo shows or had hit CDs in a long time. I think we can all agree that both ladies' movie careers are dead and the offers are not pouring in."
The job could have been Jessica's, but a little thing got in the way: Joe Simpson.
"This was definitely Jessica's to lose and that's exactly what her dad-manager did. Once it became clear it was going to be impossible to negotiate a deal with papa Joe, J.Lo was snapped up. Convinced being on the show would relaunch her performing career, she accepted the new job right away."
Be careful what you wish for Jennifer: Paula thought 'Idol' would send her back to the top of the charts too.
[As I write, FOX bosses are being stingy with new information about the judge shakeup. So far we know Ellen and Kara are out, while J.Lo is in (though still not officially). The other buzz involves Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, who has fueled rumors he's set to join the show as well. So until those seats are filled, only Randy Jackson remains. "The only thing that's for sure is Ryan [Seacrest]," Jackson told E!Online over the weekend. "Nothing has been decided."]
Jennifer Lopez Snapshots
Jennifer Lopez goes for a walk with her twins Emme and Max, their nanny, and a bodyguard in Miami on June 28. Check Out More J.Lo Pics >>
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