Charlie Sheen called into Ryan Seacrest’s radio show On Air with Ryan Seacrest Tuesday and expressed interest in judging the next American Idol season. In the past few years, Sheen has adopted personalities as a Twitter demi-god, B-list actor and all-around “bi-winner.” But music critic? That certainly is a new frontier for the “rock star from Mars.”
Here are eight substitutes who would do a better job — even if they aren’t full of tiger blood.
If there’s one word absent from Lady Gaga’s vocabulary, it’s mundane. Gaga always knows how to turn heads whether with a meat bikini, shoulder-pad horns or gore-inspired performances. Paparazzi at the 2009 VMAs, anyone? Gaga would infuse Idol with the energy and eclecticism that, after 11 years, it so desperately needs.
Independent, self-created superwoman Beyoncé would bring an entrepreneurial flavor to Idol and guide contestants to build their own personal brands. Who knows, Sasha Fierce might even guest judge?
SPIN magazine has been turning out fresh music news for 27 years. It’s safe to say the staff there has a pretty good idea how to succeed in an industry where the dreams of hopefuls are more ubiquitous than amp cords in a club storage closet. In an article detailing the magazine’s new editorial policy, Senior Editor Christopher R. Weingarten acknowledged the changing tide of music criticism. He said he believes many would rather read album reviews in a curated Twitter feed than as long-form commentary. With his experience, Weingarten would recognize the qualities of musicians able to survive an industry in flux.
For many, Nirvana’s Nevermind album eclipses the name of the man integral to producing it. Butch Vig, mastermind behind the vocal double-tracking of the album and current member of the pop quartet Garbage, could provide Idol with another unique perspective. Garbage has sold over 17 million albums worldwide, and this year British music magazine NME ranked Vig 9th on its list of greatest producers. Vig’s expert ear could undoubtedly solve the tonal squabbles that plagued previous judges.
Perhaps Jon Stewart’s satirical edge will be able to temper the idolization of contestants with a splash of reality. After hearing J.Lo tell multiple contestants, “You know you’re gonna be a star, right?”, it’d be refreshing to hear a little sarcasm as an antidote to all her sugar.
Let’s face it. Randy’s signature responses, consisting mainly of “Yo, dawg!” or “That’s hot,” are irreplaceable, but we might have found a close second. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce Kenan Thompson. Who is that, you ask? (If you didn’t grow up watching All That, that is.) Well, you might know him as Deandre Cole, the talk show host from the popular recurring skit “What Up With That?” on Saturday Night Live. Cole’s response to everything is perfect for those dreadful performances: “I got to say … What up with that?” (Sung repeatedly for effect.) I think we have found our new Randy, “Dawg!”
You may know him as Barney, the lovable ladies man on How I Met Your Mother, but Neil Patrick Harris has graced more than one Broadway stage, appearing in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Cabaret. Harris would lend an eye spotting the contestants with a future in lights.
Because, well, the Biebs can do no wrong.
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