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Seven Ways to Breathe New Life into 'Idol' - #3 Gene Simmons

(from latimes.com) As we near the semifinals and, soon after, the Top 12, the sensation that most "American Idol" diehards experience right around now -- equal parts anticipation and dread -- is starting to creep up on us. Sure, we love this show, but even with the addition of Ellen DeGeneres and the future exit of Simon Cowell, the "Idol" formula sometimes feels, for lack of a more subtle word, stale (though Monday's announcement to reveal part of the Top 24 earlier than usual is a good start).

With that in mind, we gave some serious thought -- but mostly not serious -- to a few simple changes that Fox and the "Idol" producers could institute pretty much immediately (well, all except No. 3) that might breathe new life into the franchise.
1) Secret alumni duet partner.

Have the contestants draw knives "Top Chef" style to determine which "Idol" alumnus they have to duet with. Sure, one person could end up with a Jennifer Hudson or a Melinda Doolittle to carry them through, but another may get stuck with Sanjaya or the Chicken Little-ish Kevin Covais.

2) Have eliminated contestant compete the following week on "Dancing with the Stars."

The two shows do share a sound stage after all. What could be easier than having the eliminated "Idol" contestant join the ousted pro dancer for a second chance at ballroom victory?

3) New judges panel: Gene Simmons, Snoop Dogg and Cyndi Lauper. Also replace Ryan Seacrest with Conan O'Brien.

... and if there needs to be a fourth judge, we nominate "Jersey Shore's" Snooki. As for the rest of this motley crew, Simmons replaces Howard Stern as the king of harsh (but with the music cred to back it up), Snoop Dogg takes Randy-like one-liners to new heights, and Lauper plays the kooky card with a heavy New York accent. And the host, can't you hear it? "CoCo... out!"

4) Use former Idols as mentors.

We're serious about this one. No one knows the "Idol" experience more intimately than the stars who've come out of the show. So let Carrie Underwood take the reins on country week, allow Chris Daughtry to guide the contestants through the rock canon and have Fantasia or Constantine Maroulis lead the pack during Broadway week.

5) Eliminate group numbers entirely.

Instead, invite the cast of "Glee" to perform for the studio audience every week.

6) New instrument allowance.

New rule: in addition to the standard guitar or piano accompaniment, contestants may now opt to play the video game "Rock Band" simultaneously.

7) Theme weeks to consider: Steely Dan Week, Wig Week, Sibling Rivalry Week, Barbershop Quartet Week, Pajama Night...

Most of these are self-explanatory, but we do have a few special guest requests: Noel and Liam Gallagher as mentors for Sibling Rivalry week, Mariah Carey for pajama night and Barbershop Quartet Week must feature the ‘Nard Dog himself, Ed Helms, with a special appearance by his group "Hear Comes Treble."

Do you have better ideas? Let's hear them!

-- Shirley Halperin

1 comment:

  1. You're so funny! I enjoyed reading that.


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