Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were dumped by “American Idol,” according to a new report. Money and flagging ratings appear to be root causes. Were they too greedy? Was the show that bad? Yes and no.
The show’s problem, in part, is its own success. It has spawned competitors with snappier formats and more lucrative deals for contestants.
The show must now compete for viewers and talent against NBC’s “The Voice,” Fox’s other music competition, “X Factor,” and ABC’s new show “Duets.”
But the blame shouldn’t be laid on Lopez and Tyler. Last season was their best as judges. They seemed to finally gel in their roles, exhibited real chemistry, and Tyler added a lot of color.
And let’s face it; the big attraction of “American Idol” has always been the way it humiliated bad and often pompous wannabes. Simon Cowell’s vitriolic clashes were pure theater. The show toned down the humiliation quotient in the face of “bullying” criticism, and guess what? The ratings sank.
Still, demographically, the judge’s panel was virtually geriatric. Tyler is 64 and Lopez, the youngest, is 42. Veteran Judge Randy Jackson is 56.
Lopez also had a lot of cajones for reportedly demanding a $2 million raise, on top of the $15 million she got last season. She earned $12 million during her debut, according to Hollywood gossip site TheWrap.
Apparently Tyler didn’t even get that far; Fox reportedly refused to renew his contract.
Not surprisingly, Fox executives Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly want to revamp the show. It’s a shame that Tyler and Lopez had to go. But if Fox thinks that snazzier judges will solve the problem, they better think again.