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Judging The American Idol Judges

Updated on April 8, 2011

American Idol (AI) -- A Singing Competition

Seriously isn’t this Reality TV Show titled “American Idol”?

And isn’t it about America choosing the Singing Idol that they want?

So why do it feel that any minute now, they should be renaming the whole show “Idols of the American Idol Judges”

Tell me, if you have been watching the current season of the American Idol, if I am right or if I am right.

Okay before you go ballistic in me, I know that the current judges of AI like the rest of us non-judges have our own favorites. It would be foolish not to. I mean, based on our own upbringing, our own unique likes and dislikes, our playlists, our personalities, our backgrounds, our race, we just have our own biases.

And so we can all be biased or unfair. That is a given.

But does the judges of AI have to be too obvious about theirs?

Are they not blatantly influencing the American people’s vote by the things they say or for that matter the things that they do not say?

And have they been consistent about it, at least in this current AI Season?

I mean, one can almost 100% "guess" who will be booted off and we will be staying, regardless if they did good or not. And we all know that all these finalists are great (otherwise they wouldn't be there) but we also know that from day-to-day there would be ups and downs. The judges should critique the contestants on what they did at that particular night. Not on what they did in the past. Not in what they could actually do. Not in what they think they could actually do. And not in trying to influence their other co-judges of what they think.

So, what do you think?

AI History

I did not get to see the First Season of AI but I know that in all of its first eight seasons, they had the same three judges,

· Simon Cowell (who everyone loves to want to hate),

· Paula Abdul (who everyone wants to try to love) and

· Randy Jackson (who everyone wants to want to love).

Okay there is a fourth leg and that is Ryan Seacrest (who is in the same mold, either you love him or you hate him).

This season (Season 10), there is only Ryan and Randy remaining. And they have two new judges in Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

Now Record Producer Jimmy Iovine is well known in the industry but he is not really a household name even with many diehard AI fans, but he is working with the AI Contestants this year and sad to say, he also brings his own unique set of biases into the show. This is not really unexpected because as a producer that’s his job, favor the ones that he can probably sign up and toss the rest into the lion’s den.

Now as far as I am concerned and you may disagree,

  • Randy is the new Simon.
  • Steven is the new Paula.
  • And J. Lo is the new Randy.

Past judges in Season Nine were Ellen DeGeneres and somebody named Kara but AI regulars know how that panned out and now for the current season, Season Ten, it’s a whole new cast.

Looking Down AI Memory Lane

In Season One we saw Kelly Clarkson as the winner. Season Two, was the first season I saw and it produced Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken as a close second placer.

Season Three was the last full season I really watched the show and that was when Fantasia Barrino won. This was also the season where they went young and among them the Hawaiian Invasion, Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias and Camile Velasco. And of course this season also produced Jennifer Hudson.

Season Four gave us Carrie Underwood, which I can't say that I saw a lot of.

Season Five was the season that I totally stopped watching it altogether. I believe it was the grey-haired Taylor Hicks who won that year, 2006. Mandisa and Katherine McPhee were among the Top 10.

Season Six, you have to look up Wikipedia or something to tell me what happened. But I just looked over there and I just read that, that was the year when Sanjaya was in.

Season Seven was when the two Davids were finalists, David Cook and David Archuleta. Like the rest of previous seasons, I also did not follow this but only knew later on about these two singers.

Season Eight, I totally have no idea and even the winner's name does not ring a bell, I’m sorry to say. But Wiki says that was the year Adam Lambert was runner-up.

Season Nine, that was in 2010 and again I have yet to hear about the winner's name and even the runner-up's name. Sorry.

Back To The Future (Present)

And so we come to the current season. And then I ask again, are the new judges just so trying to shove their idols into being American idol fans' idols or has it been like this for the past few years that I wasn’t following AI?

Can we now judge the AI Judges for a change?

Okay here are the Top 11 American Idols of the Season 10 (which should have been the Top 10 except for the dramatic save of Casey Abrams by the current judges, which is of course another thing all together.

Scotty McCreery – The One Trick Pony, but of course a great trick and as American as can be. And the judges has never been harsh on him (ever). Definitely one of the judges’ favorites.

AI Judges' Favorite

Naima Adedapo – One of the two remaining contestants who the fans did not vote in but was selected by the judges themselves. Love her or hate her, she takes risks and she either sticks it or bombs it. But she is not one of the judges’ favorites, which is odd because they voted her in, go figure?

Not the Judges' Favorite

Paul McDonald – Okay probably the most “unique” of the finalists, at least if you listen to the judges. One of their favorites as well and yes the blinding smile, the guitar playing and the flower-suit might be all he needs. But like the rest of their favorites, never really given a bad comment, so far. Let's see if the judges have swayed the votes for him though. I am guessing it did. Rod Stewart would be so proud.

Judges' Favorite

Pia Toscano – Nothing much to say here, the total package and Jimmy, Ryan and the judges love her, she can do no wrong, even if she continues to sing ballads, which Randy was adamant about for some time now but surprisingly backed off on when Pia “surprisingly” sang yet another safe ballad, yes your guess is as good as mine. She being the judges’ favorite is an understatement to say the least.

Defintely A Judge's Favorite

Stefano Longone – Like Naima, he is the other contestant who the fans did not vote in but was selected by the judges (love him or hate him, he also takes risks and he either nails it or bombs it). Now, the judges are overly critical of him at times, other times they just love him. And I am guessing he is Ryan's favorite this year.

Among their Faves as well

Lauren Alaina – One of the youngest contestants remaining I don’t really have anything bad to say about her and another one of those Southern Style Singers. Not sure if she is one of chosen (favorite) few. But I am sure the judges would not lose any sleep when she goes.


James Durbin – Okay no one has told him he can also be called one trick pony but like Scotty he is a great trick too, sometimes just too much "show" for comfort though. Love him or hate him, he is also a real true blue judges' favorite.

Now, I am surprised, nobody's saying it yet but he just might have hurt his chances to win this year with that Pepsi Moment comment. As in, what was he thinking???

Another Definite Judges' Favorite

Thia Megia – The youngest and the only non-White and non-Black finalist (she may very well be another one trick pony). But the judges and even Jimmy Iovine had came down on her week after week after week (something you haven’t seen in some of their favorites). I wonder why? But if you look at her, she is probably the most relaxed, the most mature and the most poised of all the finalists, yes notwithstanding her tender age.

Definitely not a favorite of the judges and Jimmy and Ryan. And even if she gave what could only be described as her strongest performance, still no love, still no love.

Not A Favorite

Casey Abrams – Now the one and only judges’ save of the season, I just hope they do not regret it later on when they really need it when the competitions gets super tight. And what do you expect, tell America that he was not worth saving? Casey is Casey, another judge’s favorite, whether you like it or not.

Definite Fave

Jacob Lusk-- Mr. Luther Vandross himself (I don’t know why they didn’t do the alternate male-female-male sequence but I am guessing they wanted to end with Haley.

You do know that the sequence matters in competitions, such as this right? The first one to perform is normally forgotten and the last one is normally easily the most remembered.

Jacob was once a last singer already, so making him last again is not a good idea. Now and this is just me but switching Haley and Jacob I figured it just would make it all the more dramatic when the judges will say the word's BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT for Haley who performed last. Judge's favorite? Okay, I do not want to comment on this one.


Haley Reinhart – One of the more powerful female finalists, strong vocals and also a love her, hate her with the judges. But she really needs to stop grunting (Casey did). And she also has to stopped that prolonged Sssss. Best performance of the night? Your guess is as good as mine. But even with her bottom three achievements in the past, she's still a favorite.


Last Say

I just hope the judges actions does not considerably drop the ratings of AI again. I mean, all their faves are all White. New Flash: America's not White, and they should look up the results of the latest 2010 US Census Data to see that.

For now, we are down to one minority group, and one which they have a love you and hate you relationship at that. Oh, I suddenly remember why I stopped watching AI.

Come to think of it they dropped two minorities at the same night. And I also remember they dropped three other minorities just recently.


Submit a Comment

  • J@ps profile image

    J@ps 6 years ago from Southern California

    Thank you Carolyn!

    And everything you said was true.

  • Carolyn2008 profile image

    Carolyn Gibson 6 years ago from Boston

    Very good article. I agree with everything. I stopped watching when Fantasia Barrino won (as she should. I was angry that Jennifer Hudson was voted off too soon after a major electrical blackout occured in several states where she lived. I thought she would have gone further save for that situation. More people would have been able to vote for her.

    I do think the judges have their favorites. I also think that the public will sometimes vote a favorite out just to let the judges know that they don't have the final say on who will win.