We only just reported that Jennifer Hudson was in negotiations for a judges seat yesterday, but what a difference a day makes! Several news agencies have already announced that Jennifer Hudson has finalised her deal the first new judge for Season 13 of American Idol.
The Academy Award winning singer must be pretty pleased with herself right now. Back when she was on the show as a contestent, she finished seventh, but went on to get the gong for Best Supporting Actress in the 2006 film Dreamgirls.
This announcement comes fresh on the heels of the news that the next season of American Idol will only have three judges instead of the traditional four. But this particular news has been branded as more than likely a rumour rather than actual fact as the producers of the show make creative changes daily.
But the news of the jury number change opens the question of whether or not the network and the show’s producing team are really planning on have an “all alumni” judging panel. This was previously announced when it was revealed that Ms Hudson was in negotiations for a judges seat on the panel.
It seems that with the formal inclusion of Jennifer Hudson on the show as their first judge on American Idol season 13, that they are going to attempt to have all the judges from past participants as was touted last week. For future contestants on the show, this could have a positive effect. Who knows better what the show’s hopefuls are going through than a panel who’ve undergone the same thing.
There are still rumours that both Fox and the shows producers are keen to have previous alumni, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert.
Obviously it would be great if Kelly Clarkson was enticed to return to the show as a judge. Kelly was the first ever champion of American Idol and she set the bar for future contestants to follow if they wanted to win the competition. However, it appears that word from the Clarkson camp is that she isn’t interested and wouldn’t have time to participate in such a full-time manner.
As for Adam Lambert, his rep has said previously that Adam had not even been approached by either the Fox network or American Idol producers. But it stands to reason that if they can feature an all-alumni panel of judges it may just give the ratings challenged show the boost it needs.
So far the only alumni of the list not heard from is Clay Aiken, so where he stands of the issue of returning as a judge is still to be determined.
If the network and and the producers “play-up” the fact that not only will the show “look” different but it will also feature a more empathetic panel of judges who have all, “been there,” it may just be the change the show needs. The Inquirer even went so far as to opine that this move could return the show to its more family oriented atmosphere instead of the antic filled contestant meltdowns that have featured recently.
But regardless of whether or not the next season of the show does feature an all-alumni panel of judges, we welcome any change that will improve not only the ratings but the overall quality of the show.
We also want to say how pleased we are for Jennifer Hudson and her coup of being the first new judge for the 13th Season of American Idol.
By Michael Smith