American Idol has gone in a lot of different directions since its initial judging panel broke up. The popular show has hired songwriters, gigantic pop stars and even a beloved daytime talk show host. With Jennifer Lopez’s future completely in doubt, it’s not a surprise producers are reportedly looking into all sorts of strange possibilities including Charlie Sheen, but it is perhaps curious they’re apparently considering a former contestant as well.
Earlier this week, a rumor broke that Adam Lambert was being strongly considered for a potential judging slot. He’s since called the whispers nothing more than a beautiful rumor, but still, the idea got our wheels spinning a bit here at TV Blend wondering what contestants, in addition to Lambert, might actually have enough credibility to land on a future American Idol panel. Here are five pretty solid choices…
In addition to arguably having the greatest voice in the history of American Idol, Aiken has also wowed fans on Broadway and proven his business savvy on Celebrity Apprentice. More importantly, he’s also incredibly funny and good off the cuff. His careful analysis and cutting jokes were a high point of the most recent season of Trump’s job search for charity, and he’s long proven he’s not afraid to get a little mean and nasty when the situation calls for it. He’s established enough where contestants would respect him, yet he’s not so absurdly popular he wouldn’t be open to new business opportunities.
Of all the former reality stars on this list, Jennifer Hudson did the least well in the actual competition, but really, that was hardly her own fault. Why America voted her off so quickly is one of life’s great mysteries, but like a champion, she put her head down, worked incredibly hard and found success on her own terms as an actress, a singer and now a popular spokeswoman. Hudson has always exuded class and sophistication. She’s a nice lady, she has untold amounts of credibility and people really seem to relate to her. I’m not sure if she’d be willing to join the judging panel, but if she did, the casting would be a home run.
Simon Cowell predicted Carrie Underwood would be the biggest star American Idol ever produced before she was even crowned champion, and his prediction has proven to be absolutely correct. With a beautiful voice and relatable charm, she’s won the approval of country and pop music fans alike, and her career continues to only project upwards. I can’t imagine she’d have the time to work Idol into her busy schedule, nor can I imagine she’d be very good at telling contestants how awful they are, but considering this is a perfect scenario list and it’s always better to have one member of the panel who cares too much, she deserves her place on this list.
I told you we’d get to Lambert, and his time has finally arrived. With impeccable style, oozing charisma and plenty of self-confidence, the former runner-up stepped into Freddie Mercury’s shoes and performed with Queen, and if given the chance, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t gladly step into Jennifer Lopez’s (possibly) departing heels. He’s honest enough to throw up middle fingers when people fail hard enough, but he’s also invested enough to offer pats on the back when it could spur someone onto greatness. If he really hasn’t had any contact with producers about the position, he might already be out of the running, but for the long-term sake of the show, I hope he’ll be given a hard look.
Constantine was known as a bit of a rocker on his season, but honestly, that label was always sort of misapplied. He could go hard when he wanted to, but his appreciation and knack for singing theater was a wonder to watch. I’m so glad he ended up in Rock Of Ages. His future on Broadway is very promising moving forward, but a stint as a judge on Idol would raise his profile even more and potentially offer him the chance to keep landing huge shows. Plus, with the show’s schedule, he could do a Broadway show for five or six months and then take a break to film Idol.
These are the five people who immediately came to mind when I heard about Idol potentially considering former contestants, but in addition to these selections, I also could get excited about Taylor Hicks, George Huff, Catherine McPhee, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia and a few others. What do you think? Which of these contestants would make the best Idol judge? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…