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Did 'American Idol's' Judges' Panel Finally Land Its Ben Folds?

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | January 22, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | January 22, 2014 |

I don’t watch American Idol, and I haven’t since the Taylor Hicks season (who, by the way, made $2.5 million last year and has landed a running show in Vegas), so I have missed the clusterf*ck of judges that have occupied the judges’ panel since the original roster left. I follow the news enough to know that they have largely been a series of catastrophes, as American Idol’s ratings continue to dwindle and as the show’s cultural relevance erodes, taking a backseat of late to NBC’s The Voice.

That said, I’ve seen a few reviews for the new season, and they each seem to suggest that Harry Connick, Jr. has been a revelation for the singing competition, an instant success for the show, even if the ratings do not necessarily reflect that. Meanwhile, I have watched a couple of episodes of The Sing Off, strictly out of affection for Ben Folds, and while the show doesn’t do much for me, it is refreshing to see Ben provide some actual insights, real criticisms, and bring knowledge of music to bear. That seems to be what Connick is doing for Idol.

The clip below, which I stumbled upon this morning, is not enough to persuade me to watch the show, but it’s nice knowing that there’s some intelligence now on what is one of television’s most popular reality series. He’s impressive (and he’s not afraid to call out his co-judges).