There was a press conference with newly-announced judges, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and new in-house mentor, Universal Music Group’s, Jimmy Iovine.
Also there were producers Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick, and Fox chief Mike Darnell
There are some changes coming to Idol. See the highlights below. I also heard that the kids will be able to sing original tunes next season. I wish someone had asked that question!
Photos from today’s press conference plus gallery photos:
- Contestants will get to perform in their own genres every week! No more county singers singing rock and vice versa. Themes will focus on decades rather than genres. “It’s really important to develop what they are good at, ” says Nigel.
- There will be big changes that seem very X-Factor like. Jimmy Iovine, from Interscope/UMG will mentor the kids every week. Big producers like Timbaland will be brought in to coach the kids. It’ll be the best of the best.
- There will be NO guest mentors. Jimmy Iovine will be the “resident in-house” mentor and will work with the kids every week. They laughed at the idea of Miley Cyrus as mentor
- The kids will be pushed to improve, to become, “better and more interesting” than in past seasons, “developing the young artists the way they would anyone who signs with the label.”
- It’s possible there will be guest judges if appropriate. Nigel says they would not turn down an Elton John.
- The middle rounds are going to be re-vamped. Didn’t go into a lot of detail about how.
- There could be changes regarding the use of instruments. Ken spent some time dissing the guitar players. He felt some of them hide behind their instruments. Nigel says there will be no “shoe gazers”. They want contestants to move.
- Nigel says after Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, there were no Idols. “We have got to go back to creating American Idols, ” he says.
- Backstories aren’t going away any time soon. “We’ve still got to get to know these kids, ” says Nigel.
- Nigel wants to bring the focus back to the talent, rather than making decisions based on the ratings.
- Nobody is there to replace Simon Cowell. Each judge will play themselves, just as Simon did. Every judge will dole out tough critiques when necessary.
- Jennifer says she believes in “tough love” but could never be cruel. Sounds like she’ll play the Paula role.
- Hard to tell what role Steven is going to play. He’s inarticulate. He’s moving to Los Angeles. (He lives in Boston).
- Steven tried to put a positive spin on it, but it’s obvious his Aerosmith bandmates are pissed. He says when they first heard the news they were jealous and angry that they heard it through the media.
- Jlo unfazed by rumors in the run-up to the announcement. She’s used to bad press. She says the truth is always revealed.
- Jennifer has a 1st look deal with FOX . She’ll develop film and television projects.
- Fox brass insists the negotiations with both went really smoothly.