Life after ‘American Idol’: What the former judges have to say

Yahoo Contributor Network

Only a half dozen people in the world can say they used to be an "American Idol" judge -- and boy are they saying! Recently resigned "Idol" judge Steven Tyler told Rolling Stone the real deal on why "Idol" didn't work out for him.

Calling the overall experience "not my cup of tea," Tyler said, "I loved it and I hated it. The show's about kids and what you do to nurture their talent. They wanted me to take the piss out of the kids, and I don't have that in me."

So what did the five other former "Idol" judges have to say about the show after their departure?

Simon Cowell

During a 2011 press call, original "Idol" judge Simon Cowell said, "I left 'Idol' and started 'X Factor' because I used to get frustrated that we as people who work in the music business weren't allowed to do anything with the contestants on a week-by-week basis, and they would make these awful decisions." Cowell added, "That's why I think some of these contestants haven't done well, because they win because of popularity, not because of having a unique talent they've demonstrated on a week-by-week basis."

Kara DioGuardi

In her 2011 book, "A Helluva High Note," ousted "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi revealed of her two years on the show: "I hated myself for seeking [Simon Cowell's] approval." DioGuardi told the Daily Beast, "There were days when I was like, 'Oh my God, this is hard -- I don't know why I'm doing this. But there were also moments of joy, as well. And as I say, I'm so glad I did it. It's literally because I am better for it."

Paula Abdul

In 2010, Paula Abdul was straight up with TV Guide. When asked about the then-new "Idol" judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, seasoned judge Abdul said, "I'm a fan of the show, and I always will be as long as they're going out and finding that raw talent. …They know what it takes to make it, so they're gonna have a very refined eye. And I'm really happy Randy is at the helm because you need that familiarity. I don't think there's any advice I can give them other than I'm gonna be watching."

Ellen DeGeneres

As an "Idol" judge for one season, talk show host Ellen Degeneres had a hard time giving harsh critiques to the contestants -- so she'd often crack jokes instead. In 2011 she revealed to Parade: "I don't like to make fun of people. It's a form of bullying. I've been the butt of jokes before -- a punch line -- and that just gave me more fuel to say I will never do it."

DeGeneres also dished on some of the contestants' backstage antics. "It was disappointing to hear things about the kids, the drama going on," she said. "Some of them are not as grateful as you would expect."

Jennifer Lopez

After two years at the "Idol" judges' table, Jennifer Lopez followed Steven Tyler's lead and recently exited the show. J-Lo told Access Hollywood, "My gut was telling me that it was time to go and get back to the things that I do... I'm a performer, I'm an actress, I'm an entrepreneur, those are the things that I do, and to sit and judge for two years was an amazing experience for me, but that's not what I do. So, it was time to move on."

More from this contributor:

Phillip Phillips' Top Performances

'American Idol" Memorable Queen Covers

What Kind of Album Will Phillip Phillips Make?

View Comments