As Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both recently announced their stint on "American Idol" has come and gone, it is time once again time for fans to ponder who will be next to fill those coveted judges' seats.
Truth be told, most die-hard fans of "American Idol" aren't shedding any tears over the departures of Lopez and Tyler. Fans were interested when they first joined the show, because it's always fun to discover what new personalities will bring. However, the fascination had come and gone. Sure, their outfits and style were full of glitz and glamour, but their comments became stale and repetitive by the end of the last season. If you were fortunate enough to have recorded the show, you likely found yourself fast forwarding through the judges' portion.
So what does it take to be a stellar "American Idol" judge? Does a judge really need a strong background in the music industry to spot talent? Is it important to bring on someone young in order to appeal to a newer, more youthful demographic? The answer to both questions is no.
You don't have to have a certain talent yourself to be able to recognize talent. Everyone knows that Lebron James is a great basketball player -- it is clear if you watch him play the game. You don't need to have played basketball yourself to see this. The same is true of vocal talent.
While "American Idol" may indeed be looking to bring younger viewers into its breadth of viewers, it is a mistake to assume that young folks today respond only to fellow youngsters. Isn't Betty White proof enough of this?
The best way to choose a new judge for "American Idol" is to go with someone interesting, who may raise a few eyebrows, and cause people -- young and old -- to tune in just to see what happens. For example, the choice of Howard Stern for "America's Got Talent" was brilliant. He's entertaining, known by almost everyone, and can still be shocking at times. He keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
It is hard to imagine there would be a better choice for a new judge on "American Idol" than Charlie Sheen. Sheen is well known across age groups for his wildly popular role on "Two and a Half Men." He gained even further notoriety during his highly publicized antics and subsequent departure. Who among us will ever forget "Winning"?!? To say that Charlie Sheen keeps people on their toes with the unexpected is a monumental understatement.
There have been some big names in music mentioned as other potential new judges for "American Idol." Both Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin have been rumored as possibilities to take on one of the highly coveted spots at the table. While Carey and Franklin are highly qualified for the task, the truth is that kids today aren't quite as familiar with these talented women -- with exception of knowing Mariah Carey as Nick Cannon's wife. If "American Idol" is looking to bring in young viewers, these would not be good choices.
Based on his recognition among all age groups and his flair for the unexpected, Charlie Sheen would be a great addition to "American Idol." Besides, it would be somewhat akin to keeping it in the family since his brother Emilio Estevez was previously married to former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul.
Let's face it, Brittany Spears wasn't chosen as a new judge for "X Factor" because she is a talented musician. Brittany was brought on board because she is a household name and people gobble up stories of her crazy antics. Nobody does crazy better than Charlie Sheen.