According to the New York Post, Fox head honchos have finally figured out who they want to replace Simon Cowell on “American Idol.” Supposedly, their top pick is Howard Stern, whose contract with Sirius satellite radio is up next January. “It’s one of the few shows that could compete with Stern’s $100 million-a-year Sirius contract, and ‘Idol’ bosses think he’d be even nastier than Simon,” a source told the paper. “They know he would be great TV and would clash with the other judges such as Ellen DeGeneres and the contestants. ‘Idol’ will do what it takes to sign him.” [NY Post]
I, for one, think this is a horrendous idea. Let me tell you why.A large percentage of the contestants on “Idol” are women, who are generally of the attractive variety. Bringing Howard Stern into the mix is kind of like inviting your pervy Uncle Bob to a sleepover party, and giving him a microphone while you’re at it. Stern’s bread and butter is boob jokes, lesbian riffs, and porn stars— the kind of overtly sexual shtick that can often be funny, but is generally just obnoxious. Meanwhile, “American Idol” contestants range in age from 16 to 28. Do we really want to hear what Stern has to say about 16-year-old girls, or find out what he’d do if presented with a Kelly Clarkson or a Carrie Underwood or a Katherine McPhee? Some could make the argument that women who want to be pop stars will be exposed to being sexualized throughout their careers, so they’d better get used to it. But I sure know I’d feel uncomfortable performing for a judge like Stern, who is probably just looking at my chest, anyway.
Furthermore, Stern isn’t exactly known for his clean language. After the auditions rounds, “Idol” goes live. So if Fox goes with Stern, they better get ready to bleep out large tracks of commentary, since this is a family show, after all.
And while, sure, Stern has spun many a record on his assorted radio shows, he’s much better known for his talk radio. So, um, exactly what are his credentials for critiquing vocal performance?
Luckily, it doesn’t sound like Howard is too into the idea of judging on “Idol.” On the air, he recently said this: “I was approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year—and I did turn it down … I’m not even sure if I want to be working. I’m waiting to see what happens.” So perhaps we’ll be spared? [NY Post]