Friday, September 17, 2010

Can Jennifer Lopez revive 'American Idol ?

Jennifer Lopez will reportedly join the judging panel on "American Idol," signing a contract with Fox worth $12 million. For that amount of money, we have to ask: Is she worth it? Ratings for "Idol" have declined in the past few years. May's finale pulled in about 23.2 million viewers, the lowest number since "Idol's" first season. This isn't to say that "Idol" doesn't still have a huge fan base. But the combination of fewer viewers, the departure of sharp-tongued Simon Cowell and the failure to properly replace judge Paula Abdul, whose unpredictable antics were consummately entertaining, definitely spells trouble for "Idol."So does Lopez have enough star power anymore to breathe new life into "Idol"? While J-Lo is still a household name, the triple threat -- quadruple if you count her clothing line -- has lost a lot of cultural relevance since her "Love Don't Cost a Thing" days. Her past two studio albums, "Brave" and "Como Ama una Mujer," failed to go platinum in the U.S. This year's "Back-up Plan" received dismal critical reviews and grossed $37.5 million domestically at the box office, whereas her 2001 romantic comedy, "The Wedding Planner," pulled in $60.4 million. Of course, Lopez's personal life has changed a lot between marriage and having children, but I think it's more than safe to say interest in Lopez has declined in favor of new pop stars, some who occasionally wear dresses made of meat. Lopez would be a marked improvement over Kara DioGuardi, who just didn't have enough chutzpah to make an impact as a judge, and poor Ellen DeGeneres, who just wasn't right for the show. I'm sure the excitement over Lopez will draw more viewers to the "Idol" initially, but once that dissipates so will the inflated ratings. So will the reported judging panel of Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez be enough to make you tune in to "Idol"? Tell us in the comments section

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