Randy Jackson: I'm the Assertive Judge This Season
By Amber James Posted Jan 15th 2011 11:00AM
As 'American Idol' counts down to its return next week, judge Randy Jackson acknowledges that this is definitely a make-or-break season. However, he's very optimistic about what he calls 'Season 10: The Remix.'
With judges Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi gone from the hit show, a sea of buzz surrounds high-profile newcomers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Jackson insists the new cast had "instant" chemistry during their first dinner meeting, but says there will still be plenty of bickering on the panel this season. In fact, according to Jackson, he and Tyler have already had several spats on set.
"When you're passionate about a singer, you want them to succeed. Sometimes you're really pulling for someone, and another judge just doesn't get it," he tells PopEater backstage at MTV's 'The Seven.'
Producers clearly hope to revive the franchise, which suffered a 9 percent ratings decline last season. In addition to new judges, other big changes this season include faster eliminations (the Top 24 will go directly to 12 final contestants) and a new online voting system. Plus, the contestants will be housed in new digs: an 'Idol' mansion!
Cowell's departure from 'Idol' last season (to pursue his new Fox series, 'X Factor') created an obvious void. But Jackson says the new contestants have deemed him the mean judge this year. "Simon is irreplaceable....but people will be surprised to see that I'm very assertive this season," he reveals.
As the only original judge left, Jackson has seen it all -- and he doesn't want gimmicks. He just wants a "unique" singer with raw talent, believing that's the key to longevity in the industry. "Most artists put out one, two or three records, and then they're gone," he laments about today's pop artists.
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