Sources Claim Idol Alumni As Judges Is Almost A Reality

20130522-180446.jpgPicture Courtesy Of The Vulture
Oh my – I love my little ‘ole blog. About 4 days ago, I wrote that a panel of judges comprised of Idol Alumni would be the best and innovative idea yet.

And now, according to The Vulture, it seems that American Idol may just be heading in that direction.

This is what The Vulture had to say:

There’s a very real chance the next American Idol will be judged by a panel of former American Idols. As Fox and the production companies behind the struggling (yet still high-rated) singing show ponder changes for the 2014 edition, two people with knowledge of the situation tell Vulture that serious consideration is being given to the idea of filling one, and very possibly all, of the slots on the show’s judging panel with former Idol contestants. These sources say Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson have already been approached about the idea, and that the names of Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken are also under discussion. (Alas, Justin Guarini does not seem to be on the short list.)

In my May 19th article, I sighted Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert as strong possibilities for the judging roles.

This is way too funny. That’s one mighty coincidence or else great minds really do think alike.

All kidding aside, though, who wouldn’t want to see this happen? Perhaps, one or two alumni may be sufficient – in fact, that would be my preference.

But, American Idol would be able to stick it to the other shows with this move. Only American Idol can claim the superb achievement of creating superstars worthy of lending their vast expertise to the judging panel.

And, as one of my readers, murly, said, it would lend a sense of family to the whole American Idol experience.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

41 Responses to “Sources Claim Idol Alumni As Judges Is Almost A Reality”

  1. MCL maybe you were just ahead of the curve or maybe your blog crossed the desk of head honchos for Idol. I love the idea of Kelly, Adam and Jhud being judges. But please just 3. Performances need to have more time. Last wish a new updated current song catalog.


  2. Either they took a peep or Vonnie called them like she said she would. I;m for all 3 of them


  3. I am still laughing here. Those Idol Alumni are gold!! GOLD! The ratings will soar if – and only if – they find amazingly gifted and diverse singers and go back to a Top 24 semi-final format. What can it hurt? At the very least, they will save millions of dollars in judging fees.


  4. Brotherkarl…I think someone was peeking at our conversation!!! LOL 😉


  5. I would love to see one or two Idol Alum judges! Obviously, the most successful would be the most desired; however, I love the work Melinda Doolittle does on “Idology”. She’s articulate, knowledgeable, and funny. I believe Michael Johns has had some judging experience – plus he’s cute. My other choice might be Matt Rodgers who also has some experience. Syesha would be a “Diva” choice. Like MCL says, what do they have to lose. Plus, lower salaries for the budget! Do it!


  6. having commented before here about this, i will not believe rumors until i see facts. i base this on what i heard/saw harry connick jr say on the ellen show. there has often been talk that ‘he was in talks’ to be a judge. he said he was NEVER in talks. he said even his wife asked him about it saying she’d seen that he was in talks.


  7. MCL…didn’t know where I could put this…but this girl is amazing, I think she is 14 years old…I love her musicality; you don’t just do this, you have to feel this to play like that!!!

    Hope it is okay to post on here…if not please take it down!!! 🙂


  8. If the decision is made to use Idol alumni on the judges panel, it is my opinion that, at least for one year, that Kelly Clarkson should be the only one afforded that honor.

    Kelly Clarkson is special and should be treated as such by Idol management. She is the first Idol. She is the most successful Idol. She is the very embodiment of what it is to be an American Idol. I feel like it is safe to say that she is universally liked, if not loved by all who call themselves Idol fans, both as a singer as well as a person in general. Her singing style is broad based. Even though she is known as a pop singer she competed largely as an R&B singer and is best when singing R&B / Soul. She also toys with a little bit of Country. She also has a season of experience as a judge on “Duets” as well as having mentored on “The Voice.” She is Idol’s most valuable “product” if you will. If not for her win Idol may have dried up and blown away a long time ago.

    I would keep Keith as well but they need to quit telling him who stays and who goes. He is articulate, knowledgeable and seems to care about the contestants. The only time he seems off track is when the producers are putting words in his mouth.

    There is no reason why Idols can’t be used in other positions. Thursday night is in serious need of a content boost. They should hire someone who knows how to pull off a group performance without making their wanna-be stars look like a 1970s presentation of “Up With People.” By contrast, on results night on The Voice this week each team, together with their coach / mentor presented a concert style stage performance. This was in addition to the special music that Blake and Miranda offered as a tribute to the storm victims in Oklahoma. So we were treated to five special performances, some of which were very good. A typical Idol Thursday consist of dragging out the elimination process for an hour, and with few exceptions, an extremely lame group performance. Sometimes we also get an awful top 40 group that reminds me why I don’t listen to the radio. The best group performance I have ever seen from the Idols was actually a tour practice session with Haley’s group. They were sitting around on stools and started singing the song and began to adlib and jam. It was outstanding.

    There plans had better go deeper than who sits at the judges table.

    How about duets with a former Idol contestant at the top five level of the competition? Do it on Thursday night just as entertainment. How about a new position of “Idol Journey Mentor?” This could be one former Idol or a pool of them that council the contestants on how to best utilize their time with different members of the staff etc, and give them tips on song choice and performance elements. Video clips from these sessions could be shown after a kid is sent to safety on Thursday night. The best performance ever aired as a group performance side stepped the usual Idol production process and came from the two contestants themselves, Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams when they cooked up Moanin for a Thursday night group number. So better things can be done but it will require a different mindset.


  9. gene-hear hear! (or, i guess it is here here!?) 🙂


  10. Gene – Standing O!!! Excellent ideas and I hope beyond hope that the producers are reading some of these comments – especially yours.

    This blog topic is to stimulate conversation on how American Idol can improve or reinvent their format.

    Truth be told, they need to go in directions that other shows have not considered and, with their legacy of star alumnae, they are more than half way there. The sky’s the limit.


  11. Great ideas from MCL and her bloggers! I think TPTB must be reading this blog! 😉 I especially agree with Gene about the Haley and Casey performance of Moanin’!!! Now that was a great Idol performance!

    Whoever Idol hires to be judges, I strongly feel that there should only be three judges. And there should not be tension (in a competitive way) among the judges–that’s not what the show is about. The focus should always be on the contestants. I would also love to see them go back to choosing the best singers, not the best girls and the best guys!!! This year actually got to be a little boring with only females performing for the last weeks.


  12. Louise – thank you so much. And yes, the focus has to be on the singers. I am so tired of the focus resting on the judges. This has to stop – that has never been the reason behind Idol’s initial success and they would be wise to remember that.

    Save the money for guest mentors and new songs and, whatever is left over, give it to Ryan because he is the heartbeat of this show. 🙂

    I actually do love the equal number of guys and girls. The USA is a large country and Idol should be able to find 5 outstanding guys and 5 outstanding girls each season.

    But, no more manipulation by saddling the show with ringers or less talented singers so they can be eliminated early on in favor of the “chosen one or ones”


  13. Thank you all for the kind words, but I’m just following your lead MCL and hashing it out a little bit. Maybe they really are reading our conversation. It seemed like Jimmy read your blog quite a bit based on some of his comments during the last few seasons and they may have stolen your all alumni panel Idea outright. (or Vonnie made a side deal)

    ***** “Truth be told, they need to go in directions that other shows have not” *****

    Exactly! Lead. Please! Go back to being the leader in the television segment they created. The one thing that works so well for The Voice is that their format seems to be more flexible or I’m too dumb to see that they are doing exactly the same thing each season? They try things. They throw in extras. One thing that I like in some form is counting iTunes sells as votes. When you throw down your $1.39 you are showing a commitment. Idol does this by allowing you vote till your fingers fall off. I don’t want to see Idol copy them but I do like the way they try new things trying to hone their product. They still have a way to go but I get they feeling they are working on it.

    What do you guys think about the audition and Hollywood rounds of the show? Do you still enjoy them? Is there another way you would like to see the season start and progress? This part of the season may generate a lot of revenue because the program content is pretty low. Most of the effort is exerted by unpaid contestants even though the show has travel and venue expense. I know MCL would like to see the top 24 back and I would as well. How would you prefer to see them get to that point?

    I think the fear at Idol over the years has been not straying too far from the Idol “brand.” That may be one reason for the limited song list and the manipulated outcomes. At this point, the Great Oz doesn’t even have a curtain and their impending death is as much suicide as natural causes. It’s not too late. Everyone here has offered good ideas and there are already enough to see that this show can be re-invented by blending some new ideas with the best of the old.


  14. MCL, you mentioned ringers which is an interesting topic for me. I don’t know about you but I think Idol has always had ringers, depending on your definition. I think some of our favorites over the years may have been the ringers. I define them as low level professionals, or experienced performers from other walks like church or school, who may have previous failures with recording contracts, and may have been recommended to the show’s producer by a minor labels producer, a night club owner, a booking agent, a choir director a high school drama teacher etc. I think they stand in a very short line for their audition. BUT, the contestant may (probably) doesn’t know they are a ringer. Their purpose is to provide a reliably good performance at any level of the competition. It doesn’t have to be perfect or professional grade, they just need to reliably fill their five minutes of air time each week and not cause trouble. They are actually competing like everyone else but will be eliminated by the judge’s choices or sabotaged and voted off the island. Some of them are likely the surprise eliminations and some make it to second place. The one thing they all have in common is that they do not win. That may be an area where you and I differ, I’m not sure. You can solve most of Idol’s mysteries with the ringer theory.

    I think I began to see this watching Slezak’s post elimination interview videos. How many times have you watched one of those and come away thinking “that kid was quite the accomplished musician; I had no Idea?” When you consider the list of people who this might apply to, I’m not sure that they aren’t needed to make the show work, but as you said, surely they can find five girls and five boys each year.


  15. Vonnie,

    Oh no! Will Rayna James and Deacon be ok? Tune in next year to find out.


  16. Gene W…

    Gasp!!! Now I can’t wait till next season to see what happens…Love that crazy show!!! 🙂 Found out some tidbits on Rayna’s daughters, they really are sisters and they have been singing for awhile…they have some youtube’s out there..The Stella Sisters, great stuff!!!

    As far as Idol Alumni…I think that conversation actually got started last season when we were faced with the reality of new judges and we banged around the idea of Adam Lambert because we were being led to believe that he had been in talks and come to find out he hadn’t. So we have all been knocking it around at least since last season! Now I for one think that it would be a brilliant move on Idol’s part…even if they went back to the 3 person table and each week had an Idol Alumni coaching…see cause I would Love to see Jason Castro come back Josh Gracin, and alot of the others!!!

    For Idol it would bring back to the voting public the successful prodigy of the show, this is the only show that can boast its success stories in this way, because it is the only show with this many success stories to tell…I say flaunt it…You put Daughtry on that stage mentoring one week…Carrie Underwood…Kelli Pickler, especially after her DWTS win…Jennifer Hudson…Oh My the list goes on!!!

    I do not like the Audition and Hollywood Phase…I would say lose that part of the show, or narrow it down to where we get to see everyone that makes it to top 24…I agree with MCL top 6 guys and top 6 girls…and make them the best of the best!!!


  17. Gene – thank you for your generous comments. You have added some great ideas as well. Superb ideas that TPTB should duly note!

    Now, regarding ringers, I think I may have to rethink this because I know that all the reality shows do their research above and beyond and before the auditions begin.

    Some of my favorite singers have been ringers – David Archuleta is a prime example. He had a pretty impressive history before coming to Idol but, what I loved about him is that he worked very hard to deliver singular performances every week. He was brilliant. And he deserved to be on that Idol platform.

    The ringers that irk me are those that Idol “discovers” prior to the show that coast all season long because of this privilege. Or don’t live up to the hype. Irks me to no end. Won’t name names but we all should have an idea who they are.

    They need to find singers with wonderful personalities as well. Different. Think Taylor Hicks, Kelly Clarkson, the Davids, Jason Castro, Adam Lambert etc. All so different but exciting and fun to watch.

    The Top 24 Semi-Final format is integral to the success of the season. The slow elimination of the singers before the Top 12 really allowed the viewers to get to know these kids before the live Top 12 show began. It was perfect. It was genius. Being it back! PLEASE!


  18. I agree MCL…I really liked the vegas rounds!!!


  19. Oh one more thing. Idol should never – ever- let a phenomenally unique talent like DeAndre Brackensick slip through their fingers again. He was a marketing dream and incredibly gifted. I will never – ever – understand why he was “played down” by TPTB during Season 11. Never!

    Great comments Vonnie!! Keep them coming!


  20. Vonnie – thank you for the link. She is terrific. You can also add it on my Readers’ Submissions page as well if you wish. 🙂


  21. LOL…Thanks MCL, My son had actually shown me her video and I thought she was amazing and decided to share…

    I don’t know if you have watched the new tv Show “Nashville” it is a nighttime drama/soap I guess you could say…but it takes place in Nashville and there are some really good singers on that show…one being the Stella sisters, they are sister playing sisters on this show…they are ages 8-14 I think…they are really good!!!


  22. MCL…Here are the Stella Sisters ( Lennon and Maisy) on the Grand Ole Opry!!!


  23. Wow – those sisters are amazing, Vonnie! The little 8-year-old is so poised and confident for her age. And I thought the older sister was older than 14-years-old. Very polished. Thanks for the link. Good call!


  24. 🙂


  25. Been thinking…This would be a good year to do an All Star show with all of the past winners…So who would that be…I may need help!!!

    Kelly Clarkson
    Rueben Studdard
    David Cook
    Jordan Sparks
    Carrie Underwood
    Lee Dewyze
    Taylor Hicks
    Scotty McCreery
    Chris Allen
    Candice Glover
    Phillip Phillips


  26. Wow! So many great ideas for AI’s future. Love it!! They really do need to go back to the Top 24 format. The show just ran so smoothly, and made so much sense. I love what Gene said about Kelly! She is a very extra special person from AI’s history who is so incredibly talented, and is a huge success story post Idol. I would love to see her come back to Idol as a judge! Once David Archuleta comes back in 2014, I think he would be an excellent mentor sometime. He has grown so much sinse Idol and not near as shy as he used to be. I don’t really want to see him as an AI judge though. That’s not what I wish for him.


  27. Rosanne-DeAndre Brackensick has a new single coming out next Tuesday! Squeeeee!!!! I wanted to let you know. Maybe you already knew!


  28. Yes Anita I did know. I will have to add a blog topic about it. so happy for him. Squeeeee for sure!!!!


  29. Rosanne-Oh, a blog topic would be awesome indeed! I haven’t even heard a snippet of the song yet, but am super excited. The title, “Her Crazy” sounds intriuging!


  30. It’s been a long time since I’ve dropped in. Glad to see that you all are continuing to enjoy lively conversations. 🙂

    My favorite this year was Candace, and I was absolutely delighted that she won. Her victory was well deserved. And, of course, I enjoyed all of the fabulous women this year.

    As a devoted Adam fan, I was very pleased that he was invited back to sing a duet with Angie. Beautiful and restrained. I hope that he continues to be invited to.AI next season whether as a judge, mentor, or performer.

    To me, the one change that might bring me back as a more regular viewer would be an overhaul of the voting system. Even though I very much wanted Candace to win, I didn’t vote for her. I didn’t because I realized during Adam’s season that one has to be a hardcore voter to hope to have one’s votes count, and frankly speaking, I’m not willing to spend more than five or ten minutes voting after a show. I want a simple DWTS-style limited vote count. Ten votes, and that’s it. I refuse to cast hundreds of votes on a single night ever again.


  31. Hi Sue…

    I agree 100%, I like the voting on DWTS too, I go online cast my votes and I know that I have done my part…like you, I am not going to sit with a phone in my hand for hours,,,I did this with Taylor Hicks and Adam…and said after Adam lost, that I was not going to do this again, because I cannot vote against a machine that is set up to send votes!!!


  32. Mariah out and Kelly says NO…Hopefully they keep Keith!!!


  33. Sue. Nice to see you back here. Yay.

    Yes, you and Vonnie have hit the nail on the head. They need to simplify the voting structure. Who has the time or patience to sit by the phone and cast votes for two hours? Certainly not me or you!!

    I have a feeling they are going to keep Keith Urban. He gave constructive criticism and, more important, he represents the country genre and will bring in those viewers.

    But if they don’t bring in Adam Lambert, they are crazy. He has a strong fan base and would be an honest, intelligent and downright perfect judge – considering that he knows and understands the Idol process. Plus, he will keep the singers focused. Of all the Idol alumni out there, he would be my first choice.

    Kelly is out but she would be my second choice and then it’s a crap shoot.


  34. Hi Vonnie and MCL! 🙂

    Besides the voting system, I’d like to see the contestants try their hand at much more contemporary music. Week after week, we get themes that harken back to music that was popular fifty years ago rather than what is playing now on the radio.

    Of course, I appreciated Candace’s rendition of “I Who Have Nothing,” but I cringed when Amber performed a straight-up disco version of “MacArthur Park” and the judges went on and on about it being “current.” I’m sorry, but “MacArthur Park,” was already considered very dated when I was in high school, and I’m not young. How did Amber come up with “MacArthur Park” anyways? I can’t believe that a teenager like Amber would come up with it on her own.

    If AI wants to be relevant, then the contestants need to be singing music that is relevant to today. I would argue that there is plenty of worthy music written in the last decade that would help establish AI and its contestants are truly current, and not throwbacks to the sixties or seventies.


  35. I think too that a change that needs to be made ASAP, is the mentality of the producers as far as having an agenda each year…If the entire show could be ran on the vegas format…loved the stage, loved the song choices, loved the elimination process (as long as the producers stays out of it and allows the judges to do what they get paid millions to do)

    If this show truly set out to find stars and not sound alikes or back stories, I think they could make it a few more years…Oh! and lose the table drama of the judges…ain’t nobody got time for that!!! 🙂


  36. MCL And Sue,

    I think not putting Adam at that table would be a travesty for Idol…he willpull alot of fans back to idol…I look for big name “older” stars to grace the table for the next idol go around…I have heard talks of JLo returning…that would be a huge mistake for Idol…

    I would love to see them keep Keith, add Adam, and then if they must add a big name star!!! But wouldn’t it be something if they went the route of say Diana Ross or Barry Gordy or maybe even Smokey Robinson!!! I would say Harry Connick Jr. But I really dididn’t like his personality alot this year! 😦

    Sue…I so agree with the song choices, they really need to change that format…there are enough songs from the 80’s, up to current to fill these shows!!!


  37. Here’s an example of a current song that I would have loved to have heard this season on AI: If Amber had pulled this off instead of “MacArthur Park,” then Randy’s comparison to Rihanna would have made sense.

    Anyways, since we are talking about Adam, I present to you Adam’s cover of “Stay.”


  38. OMGosh Sue…isn’t he beautiful, I love his voice so much, WOW Beautiful song!!!


  39. If I were any of these three alumni I would get together with the others and the producers and insist that the judging panel be completely autonomous in its critiquing. In fact, I would forego a huge salary in favor of this requirement. What Idol needs now is to bring back its legitimacy.


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