Updated with newly confirmed guest judges, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristin Chenoweth & Avril Lavigne. Sadly Kelly Clarkson was never added as a guest judge but I’ll still leave her on the list cuz I absolutely LOVE her.
It seems like every other day there is breaking news on the latest guest judge signing on in the wake of Paula Abdul’s departure from American Idol. Instead of just regurgitating the news, I’ll be putting my own spin on things and actually rank them from worst to best on their potential judging abilities. The criteria I will be using is a highly elaborate algorithm which I’ve concocted that takes into account vocal range, album sales figures, pop culture relevancy and overall prettiness. You know, the important things in life.
8. Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham
Audition City: Boston, Massachusetts & Denver, Colorado
Pun Prediction: Stop Right Now! Thank you very much, I need somebody who can sing a note.
Opinion: Okay, I can give credence to why she was a guest judge for the finale of Project Runway Season 4. The be-yotch knows her Gucci from her Pucci, but unless I’m in a contestant for “How To Snag A Hot British Footballer”, I am not taking any advice from Miss Posh to heart. When the Spice Girls were selling out stadiums in the 90s with their PG-13 brand of “Girl Power”, Victoria was the least talented vocally within the quintet. That’s saying a lot, considering the Spice Girls weren’t exactly singing powerhouses. Having Victoria Beckham on the panel pushes Paula Abdul’s singing prowess up a few levels- almost to Mariah Carey-like levels. Okay, not that high but you get my drift.
7. Neil Patrick “Doogie Howser” Harris
Audition City: Dallas, Texas
Pun Prediction: I can’t believe you’re only 16 and have that huge voice. You’re like the Doogie Howser of the music world.
Opinion: Besides being often seen watching the contestants in the American Idol live audience, I have no idea what qualifies him to be on the judging panel. The one thing going for Harris is that he’s actually kinda funny- that’s how he landed the hosting gig for this year’s Emmy Awards. If the Idol producers are now looking for vocally-challenged guest judges to fill the panel, GIVE ME A SHOUT. I promise I’ll be loopier than Paula given that I’m supplied with a few Jager bombs.
6. Joe Jonas
Audition City: Arlington, Texas
Pun Prediction: Burnin’ Up You Baby! I’m recently single. Wanna Marry me?
Opinion: So far Joe Jonas is the only male singer to sign on for guest judging duties. Hmmm, maybe the producers mistook him for a girl since he has shiny flowing locks any girl and any PR rep for Pantene Pro-V would kill for. As with my argument against Posh Spice, I wouldn’t really take any of his advice to heart. Unless you’re Justin Timberlake, I’m not taking any advice from a boy-bander if I want a serious career in the music industry. The only reason he’s up one notch above Victoria on the list is he’s the lead singer of his group, which isn’t saying much but at least he’s on top.
5. Kristin Chenoweth
Audition City: Orlando, Florida
Pun Prediction: Your voice was “Defying Gravity”.
Opinion: You always hear Simon saying “you belong on Broadway” as a bad thing. Now that Chenoweth has signed on to guest judge in Orlando, what’s the sharp-tongued Brit going to say instead? It’s kinda fitting that they’ve assigned Chenoweth who starred in “Wicked” for this location. Since Disney World calls Orlando it’s home, expect to see a lot of musically inspired auditions for sure. The classically trained soprano brings a different perspective to the panel unlike Idol audiences have seen before. For those who haven’t seen the musical, “Wicked”, you might recognize Kristin from her role on the now canceled ABC show, “Pushing Daisies”. I guarantee 100% there will be at least one auditioner who will mistakenly call Kristin, DUFFY. Don’t you think British soul-singer Duffy and Chenoweth look alike?
4. Katy Perry
Audition City: Not Yet Scheduled
Pun Prediction: You’re hot then your cold. You’re yes then you’re no. You’re in then you’re out. You’re up then your down. You’re vocally all over the place. Very pitchy.
Opinion: Okay, I can admit she’s talented and can sing, but she’s relatively new and has only one platinum album under her 60s-inspired-vintage-belt. If she can pull out another hit album after her super successful “One of the Boys” CD then I’ll move her up. She’s gotta prove that the album wasn’t just a fluke. Until then you’re staying put, Miss Perry.
3. Avril Lavigne
Audition City: Los Angeles, California
Pun Prediction: Dude, why you go to be so complicated? Chill out and just sing the melody.
Opinion: Oh Avril! I guess you’re officially over your anti-establishment punk girl phase. Why else would you do something so mainstream. Just a few years ago, you could’ve easily heard Avril diss the talent reality show and complain how they were trying to find a manufactured artist. My, how we lose our beliefs to get some press. Don’t get me wrong. I actually like Avril and love “Complicated”, “My Happy Ending” and “Girlfriend”. It’s just seems like such an unnatural fit. I just can’t see Avril coming up with witty remarks, constructive comments and biting insults. Why does she rank so high on the list then? I think some of the contestants will actually be star struck by her and state she’s their idol. For that reason and the fact she’s had a few successful albums, she makes it up high on my list.
2. Mary J. Blige
Audition City: Atlanta, Georgia
Pun Prediction: Simon! No More Drama in My Life. I’ve got own opinions. That performance was Just Fine Fine Fine Fine Fine Fine Woo.
Opinion: Mary J. Blige. I LOVE YOU. I’ve loved you ever since you were a little hood rat in that silver jumpsuit in your “You Remind Me” video. You definitely made a name for yourself after being one of Diddy’s early proteges. Of course, the American Idol producers had to place you in ATL. Coincidence? I think not. You’re probably the only one who can go head-to-head with some of those delusional girls who think they can “sang”. You know exactly which type of girls I’m talking about. I’m so looking forward to Mary doing some serious smackdown- she’ll be the only guest judge I see being brutally honest. Do me proud, Mary. Do me proud. PS. While you’re in the ATL, smack Sheree from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” for me. Please and thanks.
1. Shania Twain
Audition City: Chicago, Illinois
Pun Prediction: Forget Mary Murphy’s Hot Tamale Train, You’re on the Shania Twain, All Aboard! Up Up, Can Only Go Up From Here!
Opinion: Arguably the biggest selling country crossover artist ever, it’s great to see Shania back in the public eye. She’s proven herself millions and millions- literally- of times over as a singer/songwriter in both the country and pop world. To the panel, I think she’ll bring a maturity, sincerity and life-experience from her Nashville days that none of the others can bring. I think her critiques will be genuine and to the point. Of all the guest judges signed on, I think she’s the best one in capturing Paula’s essence on the panel while actually giving credible advice that the contestants can believe in and use.
Kelly Clarkson (Wish List)
Audition City: Not Yet Scheduled
Pun Prediction: Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this. Some people wait forever, you’re lucky you only had to wait til this season. You rock.
Opinion: (This was written when Kelly was speculated to guest judge. Sadly those rumors never panned out) Though not officially confirmed by American Idol producers, as the original American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson is probably one of two former contestants (Carrie Underwood being the other) who can really give the contestants believable advice on how to survive in the singing competition. We’ve all heard accounts on how difficult the entire process is from previous contestants who’ve cracked under the pressure. Clarkson has proven she can parlay the Idol crown into a multi-platinum singing career. Even with seven other seasons taking place after her inaugural season, she’s still regarded by many as the ultimate American Idol. Maybe it’s her girl-next-door persona or her amazing vocal range but whatever it is when Kelly speaks on that panel, I guarantee you every contestant will listen and give her the respect she deserves.
What do you think? Which guest judge are you anticipating the most?