According to producer Nigel Lythgoe, American Idol fans shouldn't expect to hear the names of new judges announced anytime soon. Furthermore, he contends all the speculation about who those judges might be is making the negotiations more difficult.
Lythgoe is upset that both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are leaving the fold. He's also anxious that the only remaining judge -- Randy Jackson -- has yet to decide if he'll stay or go. However, he understands it's necessary for celebrities of the Tyler's and Lopez's caliber to get back to doing what they do best.
That doesn't make it easy for the show, though. Replacing one judge is difficult enough. Replacing two or even all three could turn into a nightmare.
So far, a cavalcade of names got tossed into the ring as possible replacements. They include Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and will.i.am along with past Idol contender Adam Lambert. Aretha Franklin's even tossed her name around as a possible candidate, although so far it doesn't look like the show is biting on that one.
Meanwhile, Lopez admits she was on the fence about leaving until Tyler made his announcement. With him leaving, J. Lo says she knew the chemistry would change. That was the last straw for her. She decided to jump ship too.
As for the show's future, it's been hinted that future judges might be hired on a one-year basis. Is it because of this year's mass exodus or because American Idol seems to have run its course?
It's probably a bit of both. Getting big names to fill the judges seats means not trying to pin celebrities down for an extended period. Otherwise, they won't likely be interested.
Idol has experienced a good run, but people are tiring of the show. That's partly because of the wide variety of singing competitions out there today. However, it's also because fans burn out on every show sooner or later.
The ratings for American Idol were down last year. That, in turn, caused advertisers to run scared. That means less money to hire new judges. It's a complicated process. That's why Nigel Lythgoe hopes the controversy dies down soon.