The new face of the American Idol judging panel was unveiled in Los Angeles Wednesday, ending months of suspense for longtime fans of television’s most-watched talent show.
Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and singer/actress Jennifer Lopez will join veteran producer and pundit Randy Jackson at the judges’ table when Idol kicks off its 10th season on FOX in Jan. 2011.
The pair have some big shoes to fill: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi have all left the show in the past year, capping off a four-year slide in overall viewership.
Lopez, 41, started her career as a dancer on the early ’90s sketch comedy show In Living Color and later stormed the pop charts with hits like “Jenny From the Block” and “Waiting for Tonight.” She was dropped from her longtime label home, Sony, earlier this year. In a glitzy announcement in Hollywood , Lopez said she was excited to be joining the show and she was “looking for the next Michael Jackson.”
Tyler, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, added that he hopes “to bring some rock to this rollercoaster,” which has launched the Grammy-winning careers of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson since its inception in 2002.
Steven and Jennifer inked multimillion-dollar contracts to join American Idol after a summer of media rumors and speculation over the new judging panel. Everyone from singers Shania Twain and Elton John, to former Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola, and radio shock jock Howard Stern have been linked to the Idol openings.
What do you think of the newest additions to the American Idol judges’ panel?