April 25, 2014

Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler confirmed as “American Idol” judges


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s official. Pop sensation Jennifer Lopez and rock icon Steven Tyler will sit at the judge’s table when “American Idol” launches next season.

Fox confirmed the news minutes ago. Here’s the release:

Golden Globe-nominated actress, platinum-selling recording artist, movie producer and entrepreneur Jennifer Lopez and multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steven Tyler, the frontman of Aerosmith – the best-selling American rock band of all time – have joined AMERICAN IDOL as judges. Lopez and Tyler will join returning IDOL judge Randy Jackson for the 10th anniversary season, which premieres January 2011 on FOX.

In addition, Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, co-founder of Beats Audio and one of the world’s most successful and prolific music producers, will join AMERICAN IDOL as an in-house mentor. Throughout the season, IDOL will go behind-the-scenes to feature Iovine working with and lending his expertise to the contestants as they compete to become the next American Idol. As part of Universal Music Group’s long-term alliance with AMERICAN IDOL, Interscope Geffen A&M will market, promote and distribute albums globally from AMERICAN IDOL finalists and winning contestants across a broad array of retail and new media platforms.

“For nine years I’ve enjoyed watching artists compete to get a meaningful chance to achieve their dreams,” said Lopez. “I know from my own experience how hard it is to succeed, and I’m looking forward to discovering and nurturing that spirit in the many AMERICAN IDOL contestants I look forward to meeting this year.”

“I’ve been on tour for most of my life in a band with four guys who judge me every day. Sometimes it hurt, but it only made me stronger,” said Tyler. “I want to give everybody a little love before I decide who goes home heartbroken. If you don’t like what I say, don’t get mad, get better. I’m ready to bring some rock to this ‘roller’ coaster and show these kids if they have the dream, the talent and the drive, they will be the next American Idol.”

“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years of the greatest show in the world,” said Jackson. “I am looking forward to this next season; we are going to knock it out of the park. Season 10 is going to be hot!”

“We are all thrilled to have Interscope Geffen A&M now be the distributor for AMERICAN IDOL’s music,” said Iovine. “I’m looking forward to working as a mentor on the show, where I’ll work with the talent to help them develop and grow week to week. This will also give the audience a deeper look into the artists’ abilities and give viewers more insight when making their choices.”

“Our 10th season begins with a completely invigorated panel of judges with Jennifer and Steven joining Randy. This is combined with the world’s most successful and brilliant music executive, Jimmy Iovine, becoming the contestants’ special mentor,” explains series creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. “AMERICAN IDOL in 2011 promises plenty of surprises and positive changes, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and lead the way for others to follow.”

“It’s exciting to have such a diverse cast of industry professionals, each with distinctive passions for music, lead the charge in discovering the next American Idol,” said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “From dancing sensation to pop, film and fashion superstar, Jennifer has experienced a career that exemplifies the American dream, and Steven is a rock icon whose performances, accomplished songwriting and personal style are as relevant today as ever. Together they join Randy Jackson, whose beloved IDOL persona has been synonymous with the show since day one, alongside our in-house mentor, Jimmy Iovine, who as chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records will share with our contestants his expertise in shaping the careers of some of the most successful recording artists of all time.”

“Jennifer and Steven have made the journey from aspiring unknowns to global superstars, which makes both of them uniquely qualified to help discover the next American Idol,” said Peter Rice, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Networks Group. “From Jennifer’s early career in dance to selling over 55 million records worldwide – along with television, films, fashion projects and a range of business enterprises – she is a self-made superstar who will bring an incredible range of experience to benefit the aspiring talent who could only dream of following in her footsteps. Additionally, Steven has earned his status as a rock legend and an American icon, both while fronting for the best-selling American rock band of all time and through his incredible personal journey over the last four decades. With Jimmy behind the scenes and Jennifer, Steven and Randy at the table, these young contestants are going to benefit from experiences beyond their wildest dreams.”

“Jennifer was a terrific mentor on IDOL – one of the best we’ve ever had – and we’ve always dreamed that she would take a seat at the judges’ table,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “America is going to love her on this show because she’s impossibly glamorous, yet totally relatable, and she understands what these contestants will be going through as they pursue their dreams. Steven Tyler is, hands down, one of the most successful rock artists in history, and he is the epitome of what rock-and-roll is all about: bold, outrageous, creative and passionate. With an unprecedented career and innate knowledge of the music industry, Steven will definitely add a unique edge to the new judges’ panel next to Randy, who understands every aspect of developing talent and performing.” He added, “Jimmy Iovine is the most impressive mentor we could have ever wished for on the series. In his role at Interscope Geffen A&M, Jimmy would be developing these young artists anyway, so now we’ll get an even deeper look at how someone is transformed into a star.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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