“It’s like comparing a carrot to a banana,” Simon Cowell said over the weekend, when asked about how the chemistry between the American Idol judges has changed now that Paula Abdul has left and, it seems, is not bent on even considering a return.

A quick read between the lines suggests something that we already know: Paula’s departure has deprived the show of someone who’ll, for lack of a better term, soften the blow that the more snarky comments might bring.  Well, because a carrot is harder than a banana…

Now that’s done, it’s time to think again about the path Idol wants to take after Paula’s crayon-drawn moustaches and confused remarks.  Are they doing it right with the guest judges?  Perhaps, but it’s quite obvious that the entry of a diverse range of personalities for the callback auditions–from Victoria Beckham to Kristin Chenoweth to Neil Patrick Harris–is just a stop-gap measure.  We’ve heard that producers are talking with several people to act as a permanent replacement, keeping last season’s revolutionary (and I mean it both ways) four-judge set-up intact.

Maybe we should return to three judges instead, right?

I mean, there is a point in having a “nice” judge sandwiched between the industry knowledge (which, for some, remains debatable) of Messrs. Cowell, Jackson and DioGuardi.  But most of us feel that Paula’s irreplaceable as a judge, regardless of what she’s done, and whoever replaces her will have a hard time living up to just that.  Be totally different and carve your own niche, or live up to the legacy and turn off some viewers.  It can go both ways.

But personally, I’d rather see the show return to three judges, never mind that it won’t be as fun as it used to be.  Time for American Idol to mean business again, and admittedly, the sideshows that judges being comfortable with each other have mostly detracted from the real point of the show, which is (arguably, still) looking for the best talent and giving that a shot at the big time.  Not to mention it’ll keep the show within sixty minutes flat, unlike last season’s bouts with going overtime.

Rather than they try being something that they can’t be anymore…

– Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV