"American Idol" has decided that if one diva is good, two must be better. News broke on the weekend that hip-hop's answer to Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, will be pulling up a chair to the judges' table. She joins Mariah Carey, returning "Idol" stalwart Randy Jackson, and country star Keith Urban. Though it's possible there's a business-savvy, constructively critical judge hiding under Minaj's cotton candy wigs, we're guessing the reality show's bosses hired her to flaunt her most outlandish, controversial persona. There are at least three good reasons this could blow up in their faces.
Too much of a good thingOnce rumors of the flamboyant rapper joining "American Idol" surfaced, news of Carey's fury at being possibly upstaged followed. Since you generally don't want to annoy your $18 million-a-year star, it looks like the producers are hoping for some diva fireworks to ensue between the two female judges. This might be entertaining to viewers who love the "Real Housewives" shows, but the catfights could get old quickly. Music lovers aren't going to mind some entertaining snark, but if it escalates into shrill arguments or bitter hostility, the uncomfortable moments will inspire fans to change the channel.
What's the show about?The last time "American Idol" had four judges on the panel, it became a distracting circus that fans hated. Often there's barely time for three critiques of a performance, and with an even more crowded table, the judging portion will either drag on forever or become so abbreviated that it'll be pointless. Add in the planned Mariah/Nicki bicker-fest and the whole thing could careen out of control, leaving the contestants completely stranded in a show that's no longer about them.
Look at meSpeaking of drawing focus from the contestants, there's no doubt that the newest female judge is going to distract viewers from the kids on stage. Sure, she was wearing a blazer on her first day on the job, but she paired it with sky blue stretch pants and a pink and yellow wig. Will anyone hear a note of a future "American Idol" star's song when the camera zooms in on a close-up of someone dressed like this?
You could make the same criticism of Cee Lo's crazy costumes or Xtina's booty shorts on "The Voice," but most of those contestants are professional musicians who can hold their own on stage. A typical "American Idol" 15-year-old from Ohio, who has only performed at her small town church, is going to have a hard time competing with, or relating to, an over-the-top performance artist. Will viewers bother voting for these overshadowed teens or simply vote to turn off the TV?
What do you think, "American Idol" fans? Will Minaj be a ratings boost or a total disaster?
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