For better or for worse, American Idol will be making its return during the 2017-2018 television season on ABC. With the series returning, ABC has boasted that the show will be “bigger, bolder and better-than-ever.” In order to accomplish that, they will need some seriously awesome celebrities on that judging panel. Otherwise, the series will pretty much be a televised version of Thursday night karaoke at your local bar.
Our number one pick for the perfect judge would have been season 1 winner, the original Idol, Kelly Clarkson however, she announced just last week that she is officially joining the coaches panel for The Voice. With that said, we have some ideas of who we would want to see on the judging panel for the upcoming series revival. In no particular order, check out our wish list below:
Musical genius and an absolutely awesome dude, Ben Folds has a wealth of knowledge to share with aspiring singers and musicians. He has experience with providing constructive criticism from appearing on another singing competition series called The Sing-Off where he judged intricate performances from acapella groups. Folds’ musical capabilities are beyond impressive and, often times, his live concerts involve a completely improvised song (improvised music and lyrics). Folds would bring the technical knowledge and feedback needed to help mold a true American Idol superstar!
Many people don’t seem to remember, Miranda Lambert is actually a product of a singing competition herself. She placed third on a series called Nashville Star which, much like American Idol required contestants to perform for and impress judges each week but performances usually stayed within the country genre. At least one episode per season, finalists would have to perform a song which they, themselves, had written. Aside from being incredibly successful within the country genre and being an accomplished song writer, Lambert also knows the ins and outs of a singing competition series but, from a different perspective. She could be a breath of fresh air for the judging panel if she were on the show.
Some outlets have reported that Chris Daughtry has already signed on for the series but, that has yet to be confirmed officially by the network. A former contestant of American Idol, Daughtry was fourth runner up on the 5th season of the series yet, despite not officially winning, he has made a name for himself within the music industry. He frequently tours with his band, Daughtry but also performs as part of a trio for more intimate engagements. I had the pleasure of seeing him recently here in New York and, I was absolutely blown away by his vocal range. I had forgotten how talented he actually is and, feel that he would bring a sense of humility to the judging panel which is something we haven’t seen from any of the past season judges. Daughtry also gets extra points for being a comic book and superhero nerd!
How prophetic would be it for the American Idol queen to return and rule the series once more. Underwood is the most successful Idol contestant of all time and is actually considered one of the most successful performers in any genre of music (not just country). As a former contestant and winner, she surely knows what it takes to be the best each week during the competition. Additionally, as a former winner, she could help provide insights to the contestants about the road they are about to embark on, after the series is over. Not to mention, Underwood is just awesome and, she’s a huge fan of The Walking Dead. Again, extra nerd points are being awarded!
Ahh, Lord Grohl! There is nothing this man can’t do! A multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, director and producer, Grohl would bring a unique, more worldly perspective to the judging panel. He would be like the new Randy Jackson on the panel being that he has experience form the production side of things as well. He’s done everything from drummer (for Nirvana) and front man (for The Foo Fighters) and even completed an entire tour with a broken leg. I was lucky enough to be in the pit for one of the stops on that tour and, hands down, one of the best concerts I have ever seen. Lastly, Grohl is arguably one of the coolest guys in the music industry. Adding him to the panel could bring in a completely different caliber of viewers as well.
Lady Gaga has more than proven herself as a real musician after her kickass half time performance at this year’s Super Bowl. There’s now no question regarding her vocal capabilities. She also is an incredibly talented songwriter. Prior to her meat dress days, Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga’s real name) was an accomplished songwriter for some of the biggest names in pop music including Britney Spears, The New Kids on the Block and The Pussycat Dolls. Her industry experience is exceptional and she certainly has an “I don’t care what you think” attitude which would lead to honest judging of the contestants. She would rock the role!
What do you think of our American Idol judging panel dream list? Who would you like to see join Katy Perry on the show’s revival series? Let us know in the comment section below!
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).