What Do 'Dream On' and 'Jenny From the Block' Say About Our Judges? An 'American Idol' Investigation
By Kristina Lucarelli Posted Jan 18th 2011 05:41PM
'American Idol' returns tomorrow with two new judges: Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and Hollywood Renaissance woman Jennifer Lopez. They'll critique a new cast of talent alongside the new big dawg on campus (and last original judge), Randy Jackson. But how will their personalities fill the gaping holes left by Simon, Paula, Kara and yes, even Ellen? We're not sure yet, but that doesn't mean we can't speculate. Both Tyler and Lopez have been in the biz for decades. And what better way do we have to decipher their judging abilities than by combing their careers for clues?
After the jump, learn what will make these music giants tick behind the 'Idol' judges' table.
Steven Tyler's Music
'Dream On' -- Aside from the overstated chorus about, well, singing passionately for the moment, dare we say the line "Lived and learned from fools and / From sages / You know it's true / All the things come back to you" is prophetic? Tyler, a bit jaded (hah, 'Jaded') from 40-plus years in the business, will be a wealth of information about a little bit of everything. One of the things he'll be best at is passing on his wise industry knowledge (good and bad) to the newbies, like a rock 'n' roll Dumbledore.
'Pink' -- Holy innuendo, Batman! Dirty minds know this one's all about the ladies. No doubt Tyler will thoroughly enjoy the fresh female talent on season 10 as much as he enjoyed Alicia Silverstone in the '90s. And if we're really lucky, we might get a few naughty slip-ups straight from the table. After all, Vulture reports there won't be a five-second delay during live shows. Clean minds, however, find this song rambling, incoherent and completely nonsensical -- precisely how we expect Tyler to operate while giving feedback. For the love of all that is holy, he better bring the crazy back to 'Idol'. We can't dream of another season without emotional, drunk commentary.
Steven Tyler in Pop Culture
'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (the movie) as the Future Villain Band -- Steven Tyler wrestling Peter Frampton while covering The Beatles can only mean one thing: He can play the villain if he needs to. With Simon gone, someone will be itching to fill that spot. But then again, Frampton takes Tyler down down pretty easily, so maybe he'll be a total pushover. We'll have to hold out and see if there are some tongue lashings lurking inside that giant mouth of his.
The Scream -- If there's one thing Tyler's known for, beyond fronting Aerosmith, it is his ability to wail with the best of them. For performances where he's rendered speechless from excitement, he'll just scream, a la 'So You Think You Can Dance' host Mary Murphy.
Conclusion: Steven Tyler's judging style will be a flirty mix of incoherent babbling and rock 'n' roll cliches. He'll occasionally drop gems of sage advice, but not intentionally. And when he's really happy with something, he'll scream about it. He'll be our more masculine, rock-infused Paula Abdul.
Jennifer Lopez's Music
'I'm Real' feat. Ja Rule -- There's no mystery here. J.Lo's real. Like, really real. And she's going to be real with you. And by you, we mean the contestants. "Hard lovin', straight
'It's Not That Serious' -- "I'm always one step ahead of you / So that should let you know that what you do / I have done before, it's nothing new." Translation: J.Lo doesn't fall for dirty tricks like guitars and winks and come hither stares. If you want to impress her, you better bring it. Unlike Steven Tyler's flirty, clouded judgment, J.Lo's all business, all music, all the time. She'll stay impartial longer than any of the judges, because not just anybody can win over J.Lo. Just ask Ben Affleck.
Jennifer Lopez in Pop Culture
Mentoring 'Idol' Season Six Latin week-- She had not one bad thing to say about any of the contestants. Not even Sanjaya! Maybe this means J.Lo's got a softer, maternal side that will occasionally surface through technical critiques about rhythm and key changes and all that jazz. This appearance on the show, however, was to mentor, not judge, so she might be tougher on the 'Idol' hopefuls in her new position.
'The Back Up Plan' -- This movie is what made Steven Tyler want to work with her in the first place. It has to say something important about her judging skills, right? Right? Ah, Steven Tyler. Already fulfilling the Paula legacy one ridiculous, misplaced compliment at a time.
Conclusion: J.Lo is no-nonsense and hard to please, but fair. She won't be mean, but she won't give away positive commentary like it's candy. It'll take quite a performance to earn her respect and praise, but when someone does, her "boogie-down Bronx girl" (copyright Randy Jackson) will go nuts. She'll be a more constructive Simon, but just as hard to win over.
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