Pharrell, Will.i.Am, Grace Potter, Kimberly Perry, Potential American Idol Judges?

A regular commenter to this blog took an iCountUSA survey asking questions about potential American Idol judges for season 13. The potential panelists are: Producer, Pharrell Williams, Black-eyed Pea and The Voice UK coach, Will-i-am, singer, Grace Potter and Kimberly Perry from the Band Perry.

I’m not sure what their appearance on a survey means, exactly. But American Idol producers could be doing some due diligence prior to signing contracts and forking over the big bucks to a celebrity to sit on the panel. If they had surveyed LAST year, it would have quickly come to light what a polarizing figure, Nicki Minaj would be. Doing a little homework ahead of hiring is a good thing.

Now, I wish I could take this survey so I could have the opportunity to say NO NO NO NO to As far as the others are concerned, I don’t have an opinion yet. I am happy they potentially considering a behind the scenes guy like Pharrell for a spot.

What do you think? Do you like any of these choices?

I’m pulling this out from today’s daily headlines comment section, because it’s turned into a hot topic of conversation.

Follow Me!

mj santilli

Founder/Editor at
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
Follow Me!

  • Wfish88

    Kimberly has a great personality & think would fit. Pharrell is another great choice, his music in Despicable Me 2 was amazing.

  • OnlyGirlIntheWorld

    Kim & Pharrell would be amazeballs! Get another great third person and the panel could possibly finally gel.

  • lkingcorn

    Count me out again. I wouldn’t take the effort to turn on Tzv forvWil I am.

  • MV007

    Grace Potter makes no sense because she would probably be a good judge and these nitwits seem incapable of making a good decision.

  • No Thanks

    Bringing my comment over:

    Sounds like an “either/or”
    situation. Like Pharrell OR Will-i-am and Grace Potter OR Kimberly
    Perry. They’re too similar to each other.

    If Pharrell is on the table, I would take him over Will-i-am ANY day.

  • ZsusK

    I’d go with Pharrell and Grace Potter.

  • Amy Beth

    Pharell would be a great choice. Only downside is he and Usher couldn’t work together.

  • Onescoopyes

    Interesting. Who did the person surveyed want as a judge? The Band Perry is hot right now, so Kimberly would be a cool choice. I would also like Pharrell. If Keith stayed, then it probably wouldn’t make much sense for 2 country singers on the panel, so I would welcome a Grace, Keith, and Pharrell panel if he stayed.

    If Keith doesn’t return, then how about Harry Connick Jr, Kimberly, and Pharrell? I think they would gel well.

  • lollamape

    My first impression: Yes to Kim and Pharrell. hell to the no to Will.I.Am.. Indifferent to Grace Potter

  • Onescoopyes

    That’s what I’m thinking too.

  • Matty Minkus

    Has she been a judge before??

  • Onescoopyes

    I’m not going to let a judge keep me from watching. He didnt seem that bad when he mentored on the show and he seems more tolerable than Nicki.

  • tripp_ncwy

    With Kim, they would not need Keith Urban to represent the country contingent.

  • jujubee22

    I adore Grace Potter. Have no idea how she would do as a judge. But her “credentials” w/r/t hit singles, albums, sales, award nominations etc. are far no where close to what many Idol fans seem to think are a prerequisite for the judging position.

  • chloe18

    I love Pharrell and he’s gorgeous but he was kind of boring on the voice and in interviews. I don’t really like Will but don’t dislike him. I don’t know who Kimberly or Grace are to comment on them. Who knows though they could be great. I just hope they are screen testing and going for personality instead of names. I would so much rather have good chemistry and fun judges than big names.

  • FallBackIntoMe

    The auditions in front of the judges start in September usually, don’t they? If so, I highly doubt Grace Potter is a serious candidate. She and her band have a tour booked up solid from mid-August till the beginning of October, with new dates being added almost every day. I don’t think she’d have time to even do auditions for this year. But I suppose anything could happen for the right offer. *shrug*

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Pharrell, pretty please!

    I can think of reasons in favor of either Potter or Perry, and I’d be far happier to see either one (or both) as a judge than J-Lo or J-Hud.

  • thedeviledadvocate

    Whoever is chosen will be an improvement over last season. Hopefully Randy took his “Dawg” “inittowinit” “that was the greatest performance evah on Idol” and “you could sing the phonebook” cliches to retirment with him.

    A little preliminary chit chat with the three or four judges to see if they have a little chemistry would be helpful.

    But, if the new judges are going to sell out, like Keith Urban did last season (he was great up until the top 5 when he turned into a producer yesman), then it really doesn’t matter who they choose because they only need to read their notes from the producers to tell that wgwg or that r&b diva that he or she are the best thing since sliced bread.

  • johnkay

    No way could they turn down Pharrell after Get Lucky and Blurred Lines. He’s back and better than ever!

  • chloe18

    lol I just googled I think I was thinking of Grace Jones for Grace Potter and not to stereotype but why is almost every country singer I know of blond? Carrie, Miranda, Taylor, Dolly, Faith, Natalie. The only person I can think of who isn’t is Shania.

  • LA944

    Yeah–a big no to Can’t stand that guy. Thought he was pretty obnoxious when he was a guest producer or mentor during season 10. I also think his music sucks ha.
    I like Grace Potter. Would be cool to have her. But, would she make a good judge–have no idea.
    They do need to test for the right chemistry. If they don’t–they are morons. Especially after last years fiasco

  • lollamape

    Loretta and Reba are not blondes.

  • chloe18

    idk who they are though. I don’t really follow country so those are pretty much the ones I’m familiar with whose songs I’ve heard.

  • voco_qara

    Yeah if Pharrell has expressed interest in being a judge, I wouldn’t even think twice and I’d sign him on the spot. The guy is a legend. He’s worked with virtually everyone from Jay Z to Madonna to Daft Punk and he is still making hits now. They would be stupid to pass him up.

  • No Thanks

    You would think, but the average AI viewer is probably so out of touch with modern music that they have no idea who Pharrell is. At least not by name.

  • Not fit to print

    Me, too. I would pick Pharell and Kim Perry.
    You don’t poll when you’re finalising contracts. Guess FOX won’t have a big Idol reveal on Thursday. At least not the whole panel.

  • Not fit to print

    The Band Perry, too. I just checked. The girls may be red herrings. It may be all about the guys.

  • Jason Gorny

    I wish they considered Norah Jones. I think she would make a good judge and plus she has an amazing voice. If I had it my way, I would have Pharrell Williams, Norah Jones and Keith Urban. Would be a good panel!

  • Karen C

    I don’t think the average viewer is really out of touch with modern music, just that they have a general preference for certain genre.

  • usedtobelucy

    Don’t both Grace Potter and the Band Perry tour a heck of a lot? Would they actually have time to do this? They might be good — don’t really know enough about them as people to make a guess about how they’d handle being judges — but I have a hard time seeing either of them with the time to do it. I’m skeptible.

    Pharrell, by contrast, probably does a lot more studio work, so he can reschedule. Plus, he’s got such a broad knowledge of things in the industry. He’s certainly capable of doing a good job. Although I do think that the judgeship is so awfully darned contradictory a job that just about anybody could turn out to be a bust, in the end. Hate seeing that happen.

    Very conflicted about a judging panel these days.

  • No Thanks

    Same difference. They’re out of touch with Top 40/mainstream music.

  • voco_qara

    Love Norah jones but I doubt she would ever be interested.

  • Sassycatz

    You know, back in the day, when I was in my teens and twenties and an acceptable, demographically desirable member of the TV and concert audience … I still didn’t know who the frickin’ producer was.

  • jcabby

    Pharrell and Kimberly gets a yes from me!

  • SteelWauhterz

    There’s a myth that says to throw pasta against the wall, and if it sticks, it’s done. The Idol brain-trust seems to keep throwing crap against the wall, hoping something will stick. This is really turning into a sick joke.

  • No Thanks

    That kind of proves my point. Pharrel is a well respected and highly successful producer/songwriter and performer. I don’t claim to be able to name a ton of producers and songwriters, but Pharrell’s name comes up enough for me to have been aware of him for the past decade.

    I think is more of a household name because he’s more of a successful performer with the Black Eyed Peas.

    I wouldn’t mind either. But I think Pharrell has far more “street cred” than Will. Not that that means anything to “middle america”.

  • SteelWauhterz

    Pharrell is all over the charts, and I do not see him making the weekly commitment that Idol requires. He is also a much better guest mentor than regular judge. If you are looking for a producer-type with his foot in every music style,but Polka, then make an offer to Timberland.

  • SteelWauhterz

    Love Norah, but she’s too introverted for this gig.

  • Listening

    Hmm isn’t Pharrell also a singer. A while back I believe he was in a song w/ Britney Spears called Boys. It was pretty good here it is….

    I’m pretty sure he was in other stuff but that’s one that stuck w/ me.

  • Niall

    I can’t stomach Will I. Am, and I highly doubt he and Pharrell will both be on the panel considering Will’s stupid lawsuit. I think Pharrell, Grace (who I adore), and someone like Kimberly Perry (young, country/pop female) would make an interesting panel.

  • Sassycatz

    That kind of proves my point

    I don’t think so. Back then, I was very in touch with “modern music,” since, you know, I was the very audience for it and listened to it constantly and bought albums and singles and whatever the heck else was available … and I never paid attention to who produced the music. Just wasn’t important to me. All I had to know is the song title and who performed it.

  • Pippygirl

    I don’t think your experience is unusual, and not just in the much maligned “middle America”.

  • voco_qara

    I don’t think that will be a major issue. Keith Urban managed to juggle recording an album in Nashville, doing gigs here and there and being a dad while he did idol. And he’s even said it was quite flexible for him. I’m sure Pharrell will be able to fit it in.

  • No Thanks

    I don’t know far back you’re referencing, but these days access to such information is easily accessible. Fans favorite artists tweet about who they’re working with and send out pictures. The fans are way more clued in these days. At least the ones who frequent social media.

  • alterego

    Pharrell’s name has been floated around before. He, Grace, Kim would make a good panel who would make it more about the contestants. No on having alums.

  • elliegrll

    Yes, he’s also a singer and a rapper. He’s in the punk/rock, and yes hip hop band N.E.R.D. They’ve been very successful, even though he’s had more success producing music for other people.

  • EvenMoreron

    Pharrell is a great, current choice considering what the top 2 songs of the summer are this year, but I fear he may be too low key. If he can be charming and outspoken, then he gets my vote.

  • wayne strong

    It depends who else is on the panel. I like pharrell for a spot to cover r&b type genres, Perry is of course country stuff if Keith Urban is not on the panel, Grace Potter is an interesting choice, i could get behind that one.

  • Flynn950

    I’ve mentioned before a big NO to Will.I.Ain’t. As far as the others, I have not been exposed enough to form a judgement. Pharrell appeared on The Voice and from what I’ve seen, he was quiet and shy like. Hey, anything is a step up from last season.

  • girlygirl

    No, no, a hundred times NO to Any of the othere I’d love to see, although there’s no guarantee they’d end up being good judges. But it would be a judges panel that is current, had real cred and would appeal to younger audiences.

  • MrTea

    Ha Ha! Looks like many of you are saying NO NO NO to Didn’t care for the dude when he was helping Britney on X-factor. I would say no to the guy as well. All the others, let’s give them a try and hopefully, they won’t make us cry. Ha Ha!

  • girlygirl

    Based on my personal experience, I don’t think that the average Idol viewer is out of touch with current music. If they were, why are there so many complaints about the tired old fashioned theme weeks? Most viewers WANT the contestants to sing current music. Every Idol fan I know personally listens to current music much more than they do stuff from 20+ years ago. These are people who go to concerts by artists like JT or John Mayer or Lady A or Taylor Swift, etc. all the time.

    Because Pharrell is known more as a writer and producer than an artist, they might not know his name necessarily. But I would bet you a lot of them have heard “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky” on the radio.


  • kikileo

    Look at Ryan Seacrest, he works like 10 jobs and has his radio show everyday.

  • elliegrll

    Pharrell has produced songs for Rage Against the Machine, No Doubt, Limp Bizkit, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna and other artists who don’t fall under the lable of being r&b or hip hop. His band produces funk and rock music that is mixed with hip hop. I think it’s fair to say that he’s knowledgeable about a lot of different styles of music.

  • girlygirl

    They could totally still work together on their music. They just couldn’t be on The Voice or AI together.

  • Karen C

    Not necessarily, because one can know who an artist is in top 40 music, and not like them. Again that doesn’t mean they are out of touch with current music, since not all current music is in the top 40 anyway.

  • wayne strong

    correct, but its good to fill a panel with people whose specialty is a certain genre. This does not diminish his capabilities in any way.

  • Happyhexer

    ITA. Up until a few years ago (fall of 2009), I never listened to country music. Yet I still knew who Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, and Reba were (even though I probably couldn’t identify/recognize their songs to save my life). That would be because I read. And anyone who is at the top of their game in the music industry (whatever the genre) gets written about. So yup, even I have heard of Pharrell (despite the fact that I am not young and — gasp! — I watch American Idol). ;-D

  • Karen C

    Of these, I could see Pharrel as being the best judge, and maybe because he has a lot of industry experience also.

    Even though I like Grace Potter, I can’t see her or Kimberly Perry having enough experience to be a effective judge at this point. I think it should be someone who has been in the industry for several years, either as an artist or as management.

  • Happyhexer

    I don’t know much about Kimberly Perry’s personality, but she could work out pretty well as a substitute for Keith. (Though I wouldn’t mind if Keith returned.) Kimberly has been singing in a band and writing songs since her teens, though she didn’t form The Band Perry with her brothers until 2005, when she was 22. So she has been around on the music scene for a while before she became successful. Her voice is unique and records well, although she isn’t the strongest as a live singer (but she’s been improving). And she does have good instincts — for what makes a good song, what makes a song radio-friendly, and how to carve a niche in the music industry. (No song makes it onto their albums unless all three siblings agree unanimously. And although they write their own music, they also have recorded songs by other songwriters that have become hits. So they pick well.) As an added bonus, they were raised in a household that played both country music and rock ‘n roll, so Kimberly has been exposed to more than just country music.

    If Kimberly becomes judge, please can she help pick the winner’s single? She can’t do worse than Jimmy. (OK, Jimmy got lucky with Phil and “Home,” but “I Love You This Big” — despite its success — was not the best song to launch Scotty’s long-term career, Jessica’s single was atrocious (I don’t even remember the title), and Candice’s — while not terrible — isn’t a song that was ever likely to get radio play.

  • Happyhexer

    Huh, looks like The Band Perry will be touring in Europe in the late fall/early winter — Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Congrats on them taking their brand of country to Europe!

  • Not fit to print has much greater name recognition but Pharell is more current and hip. Idol might be wondering which way to go.

  • Matty Minkus

    Not buying it. I think the panel has already been set and Keith is part of it. I wonder if they’ll introduce new judges at TCA?

  • maattt

    Grace <3

  • Jake W.

    I like Grace.

  • Jason Gorny

    Is that on Thursday?

  • gem2477

    Kimberly and Pharell would be great, I don’t know that much about Grace. It would definitely be an improvement over Nicki and Mariah. I would support them as judges.

  • gem2477

    Who knows? TPTB would be willing to make arrangements according to the judges’ schedules. Nicki did it going in between continents on tour.

  • gem2477


  • babyspock

    Neil Patrick Harris was on Ryan Seacrest’s show today. They talk a bit about the Idol judges. NPH plugged for Adam to be a judge. Ryan said they have yet confirm who the judges going to be but it will be soon- so basically nothing. Idol talk start around 4:30.

  • bannanafish

    The only major time commitments issues would be to be in Los Angeles on Wednesday & Thursday evenings for the 12 or so weeks of the live shows (March to May 2014). For the audition & Hollywood phases, the producers have flexibility to work out a time that is suitable to everyone. The auditions involve 2 days for each of the 6 or 7 cities usually recorded in August or September but that’s flexible. The Hollywood episodes have been recorded from November to as late as January. If they are committed they can find a schedule to suit everyone.

  • SteelWauhterz
  • Soe


    Although he’s one of the only tolerable ones on The Voice, he’s still extremely annoying.