Watching last night’s episode of American Idol, I was shocked by how many average to subpar performances the judges (Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson) adored. Even more notable was how rote all their criticisms seemed to be. I really enjoy the judges’ personalities, but week in and week out, the three have lavished the same praises over and over again to the point where the words coming out of their mouths have become meaningless. They might as well be judging flowers or pottery. And that got me thinking: what if the Idol judges did actually judge random objects?

After the jump, ten random things that the judges might as well be judging…

A police officer giving a press conference


Steven Tyler: That’s just beautiful, man. Some police officers are meant for the street, but you belong up there doing a press conference. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: That brings tears to my eyes. Right here? Goosebumps. Your press conference gave me goosebumps. But I want you to push harder. Push harder!

Randy: Yo yo yo, for me this is what I love about this season: we have police officers, we have police detectives, we have fire marshalls. Let me tell you something: my friend Terry O’Rourke from the Montclair police department would be proud because tonight YOU KNOCKED IT OUT!! YOU ARE IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!

A polar bear hanging out


Steven Tyler: Call me Woody, call me Jane, but whatever you do don’t say I’m plain. That’s just beautiful, man. The way you sat on that ice floe, that’s something else. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: Polar Bear! THIS is what I’ve been waiting for! When we first saw you, we KNEW you had this in you, and I’m so proud that you’re up there doing your thing, having fun. This is what you have to do, baby. Don’t stop! Amazing. AMAZING!!!

Randy Jackson: Okay, okay. Check it out: when I first heard you’d be sitting on an ice floe, I wasn’t sure what to think , but dude, you WORKED IT OUT! This is what I love about this season: we got black bears, we got grizzly bears, we got teddy bears, and we have polar bears. America, polar bear is in it to WIN IT!!!

A little girl being examined for radiation


Steven Tyler: Well aren’t you a pretty little thing tonight. You might be a girl, but you dress like a LaaaAAAAd-YYYY!!! You are beautiful. Just beautiful. And the way you lifted your chin at the end there? You could steal my breath away. Beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: Hi baby. So… I feel you trying to move around up there a bit more, and this is what it’s all about: performing. And I see you realizing it. Keep pushing, baby. You were great, and I love you. I know you have it in you.

Randy Jackson: Okay, so I differ from Steven and Jennifer a little bit, but let me tell you something: you got up there, and you got examined by those doctors, and you didn’t care WHAT anyone said, and that is the mark of a true artist. America, we got an artist up in here, and she is for REAL! CHECK IT OUT AMERICA! LITTLE GIRL IS IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!

A group of people celebrating their Powerball winnings


Steven Tyler: Let me tell you something: not many people can get up on the stage and do what you guys just did. But you guys did it, and man, it was beautiful. The way you sliced that cake all together? Let me tell you something: there are ducks in Minnesota that are quacking right now because they love the fishies so much. Beautiful. Beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: You see this? Goosebump here. Goosebump there. I got them up and down my arms. Amazing. AMAZING with the cake!

Randy Jackson: Yo yo yo, okay, so you took sheet cake, which is one of the greatest cakes of all time, and you took it, and what you did with it — you cut it, you had some slices, you put some candles in it — that right there, yo, that right there was genius. And let me tell you: you might have one of the best cakes in the competition. You don’t have to do anything special with it — you just have to slice it, and that’s what you did, and that is the mark of a true artist. America, WE GOT A HOT ONE TONIGHT!!!

Cherry Blossoms


Steven Tyler: Yeah, I wouldn’t say this was the best branch for you to bloom on, but you know what, you’re an angel up there on the tree, and everything you do is coming from the stars. ‘Cause you are a star. You’re beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: The very first time we saw you, cherry blossom, we knew you would blossom someday. And tonight I think we saw that happen. You were connecting, you were having fun, you were working the stage, and it’s like you finally realized the secret: it’s about performing. And that’s what you did. I’m so proud. And I want you to keep going on this path. Keep going, baby. Because you can get it. You can get it.

Randy Jackson: Listen, cherry blossoms are some of my favorite blossoms of all time — OF ALL TIME — and tonight, this branch for me for you was only okay. I mean, it was alright, but I want more blossoms. At this point in the competition, you all can blossom, but we’re looking for something else. We want to see what you’ll be like as an artist. But yo, we know you have it in you, and we know you can bring it, so prove me wrong, dawg. Prove me wrong! You’re an artist though, and the way you bloom — sort of like early lilac or a daisy–

Jennifer Lopez: A buttercup.

Randy Jackson: Yeah, Jennifer knows. Get back to that. Because that’s what you’re best at. Get back to that.

Steven Tyler: I don’t know. I loved you. Don’t change a thing. You’re beautiful.

A koala with its cub


Steven Tyler: I love me a koala, and you’re looking fine tonight. And you know how to use that tree stump. Great work. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: You look hot up there tonight, koala. You got a new hairstyle and everything. And guess what? The confidence shows! Now I want you to take that confidence and push yourself to the next level. I know you can do it, baby.

Randy Jackson: Okay, okay so check it out: Jimmy Iovine told you not to climb into that tree, but you did it anyway, and guess what? IT WAS AMAZING!!! Koala IS IN IT TO WIN IT, AMERICA!!!

A woman adjusting a clock


Steven Tyler: Let me tell you something, darling. You could adjust the hands of anything. You’re that good. It can be a clock, it can be a watch, it can be a cow wearing three hats with a three legged lady on its back. You are a natural, and I’m honored to be in your clock-adjusting presence. Beautiful. Just beautiful. And great work by the clock too. Really great, man.

Jennifer Lopez: Okay, I’m going to try to say this as best I can: two weeks ago, I pulled you aside, and I said “You gotta just change the time on that clock. You gotta do it. And you can.” And I saw your eyes, and you believed. You believed. And tonight, we saw that. I… I don’t know what to say. I have no words. Just goosebumps.

Randy Jackson: Yo, okay, ha, I think what my colleague Jennifer Lopez is trying to say is that it doesn’t matter if it’s a clock or a whistle, you can adjust anything. AN-Y-THING! Yo, dude, that was amazing!!! YOU KILLED IT!!! Yo, clock lady is IN IT TO WIN IT!!!

Salted salmon fillets from Estonia


Steven Tyler: Hooooo-weeeeEEE! I love the taste of salted salmon fillets. Makes me just go whooo-EEEEE!!! AYYY doooo do do doooo!!! That’ll put a zing in your coffee pot, but like my mama said: you ain’t got coffee unless it rained with the beans. That’s beautiful curing, my friend. Just beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: Alright! Alright! A little salted fish fillet going on. I think America needs more salted salmon, and that’s why I love that you’re here! We can have a salted salmon, we can have a tuna. This is America! I love it!

Randy Jackson: Yo yo yo — so salted salmon fillets — one of my favorite fillets of all time — my very good Estonian friend Raivo Savisaar serves this at his restaurant, and dude, DUDE — American better get ready because salted salmon fillets are HERE TO STAY! You killed it! KILLED IT!!!

A penguin on a beach


Steven Jackson: You run, sweetheart. This moment is about you. Love that beach. Because when you wobbled around on that sand, you made everyone a believer tonight. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Jennifer Lopez: Go ahead! Soak it in! Enjoy it! You are so wonderful up there on that beach, baby. I just want you to keep growing, keep pushing yourself, okay? I believe in you!

Randy Jackson: Okay, so for me, check it out: that was the BEST PENGUIN RUNNING ON A BEACH OF THE NIGHT!!! You KILLED IT!! It’s like we have a front row seat to a penguin concert. You KILLED IT, DAWG!!!

A bunch of Easter eggs


Steven Tyler: You’re gorgeous. All those colors? Gorgeous.

Jennifer Lopez: Whoooo!!! Hot! That was the best you’ve ever sounded. You stayed true to yourself, and that’s what an artist does. Goosebumps. Goosebumps. I don’t get ’em a lot, but you just gave me them. Goosebumps.

Randy Jackson: Yo yo yo, so check it out: I have never seen an Easter egg at your age do what you do in such a seasoned way. I’m hearing you, and I’m like whaaaaaahh! Yo yo, check it out, check it out: in ten seasons of doing the show — yo, we got Idol Remix going on, right? — in TEN years, you are one of the best eggs we have ever seen. AMERICA, EASTER EGGS ARE IN IT TO WIN IT!! BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT!!!!

What do you think about the judges lately? Too soft? Too kind? Or do you like the positive reinforcement?

32 replies on “10 Things The ‘American Idol’ Judges Might As Well Be Judging Instead”

  1. Way to soft/kind. Never thought I would say this, but Simon, while often too harsh, at least gave a honest, critical assessment of the performances. Kara was actually my favorite because she would be critical, but in a very helpful manner.

    Last night? One of the, if not thee worst night of performances I’ve ever seen this late in the competition. Yet, the 2011 AI love-fest continued. And what’s with Randy stating at least two different times last night, “Dude, you know we are always telling you to stay true to yourself. If in ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Check it out, check it out. Dude, it was only a few weeks ago I heard, “Pia. Listen. All you sing are ballads. I just want you to change it up a bit. Do something up-tempo.” Well she did Mr. “talking out of both sides of my mouth” and now the best singer in the competition by a looooong way is on the talk show circuit.

    This is a very good group of singers. Might be the best ever at this point of the show. But they are far from perfect; except the 9th place finisher. And last night was almost too unbearable to watch. The goosebumps were NOT just beautiful dawg!

  2. This. This is what I’m talking about. The way you took the judges’ catchphrases was beautiful. Totally beautiful. When you first started, I wasn’t quite sure where you were going to go with it, but you took it to the limit! This post gave me goosebumps! This is what I love about this blog—you’ve got food, you’ve got drinks, you’ve got snark, you’ve got TV, and tonight, you totally knocked it out. Yo, I can totally feel that you’re in it WIN IT!

  3. Not to be picky, but JLo says “goose-pimples”. I know this because it creeps me out EVERY time she says it

  4. Bravo! Thought it was a better season as everybody claimed. But no, it’s not. No standout of this bunch. Judges definitely didn’t do what they are supposed to do. Pimping them wouldn’t help these kids. I miss Simon totally!

  5. This is Tiny Talent Time. There is not ONE star in this pack of karaoke singers. But Iovine and Interscope want Americuh to believe that this is the BEST SEASON EVERRRRR and the MOST TALENTED CONTESTANTS EVERRRRRRRR. I wonder why Ryan never brags about the voting numbers? Oh yeah, because they’re abysmal.

    1. Mark, while I can’t stand most country music I have to disagree and expect that Scotty McCreepy is going to be big star, and Lauren as well. And I don’t know where you get that Ryan is not bragging about the voting numbers because every week he has mentioned 50-55 million votes, which is to my recollection about 15-20 million more votes per week than last year or other recent past seasons.

  6. Bside, I think you found a new calling. I don’t even watch this show and i laughed reading this. ALL U DO IS WIN WIN WIN NO MATTA WAT.

  7. This is hilarious but sadly so true! I loved the changing the clock example. It really illustrates the art of praising the mundane to make it sound fabulous. I seriously am more frustrated with the judges this year than any of the contestants – especially when during the audition process they showed so much promise. Thanks for this!

  8. Wow – that is absolutely hysterical. I miss Simon so much. He actually gave constructive critisism. These judges love everything and everybody. They give no constructive input at all to the performers. The ones who are losing out are the contestants (and of course the audience). I always picture Simon watching this jokefest and shaking his head. I wish there was a way to send this hysterical piece to all three of those judges!!

  9. I stoppped watching American Idol in the middle of season 4 for this very reason. Aside from Simon offering actual opinions about the “talent”, judging was nothing but catchphrase after meaningless catchphrase. I swear, Randy should be contractually obligated to have his jaw wired shut.

  10. After the show, I told someone that they praised EVERYBODY…no wonder the voters (14 year old girls) are confused! Give some real criticism please! It actually seems like they are getting worse as the season goes on.

  11. LOL! remember when everyone was complaining about Ellen D being to “nice”??? Well, now we got 3 “Ellens” who, I believe, do not know what constructive criticism means! Ah well, AI is always good for a laugh or two, either from the judges or the contestants! Yea, Simon was a good balance for all of these useless judges!

  12. I can’t deal with gushing judges. Simon was like the lemon in ice tea. Acid is a wonderful thing especially when offsetting the over sweet.

  13. One of your greatest posts ever.

    In related Idol news, it’s taken 6 years, but Constantine Maroulis’ patented eye fuck has finally spawned two babies. After watching Casey and Scotty perform, I always feel like I need to take a shower.

  14. The best, most entertaining blog I’ve read this season. You absolutely nailed the judges. During the auditions, I thought the season was going to be so much fun as they were actually judging. They have ruined it with their simpering silly comments. The talent is good, but there is no excitement about the show anymore. No need to worry about what the judges will say about your favorite because it’s all good.

    I never thought I would miss Simon. I was wrong.

  15. I miss Simon so much. He was the only one who could reel in Seacrest, who is now out of control.

    BTW, love how you combined Steven and Randy into “Steven Jackson” under the penguin caption. They’re sappy comments all run together, so you might as well run their names together too.

  16. American Idol just can’t top its best season ever and that was a long time ago. They keep trying to make it better but it keeps getting worse. First few years had real contestants who didn’t compete with “star” performances and polished peripherals. I really do not like the show at all anymore and the star power of these judges doesn’t make it better but worse. Give me the old days of Kelly Clarkson, Clay and Ruben when it was all a little more real even if it wasn’t and Simon told the truth even if he was an ass about it.

    1. It is definitely the worst year for American Idol for sure!!! The judges already picked who they want to win and they don’t keep it a secret!! I feel truly sorry for the other singers that have to listen to the judges as they tell two of the singers that they are the best they have heard in 50 years and are the best singers they have ever had on American Idol. I don’t agree with this statement at all. Do they not realize that maybe the people think they may be good, but they are also looking at it as would they buy their CD? Two of the singers that they talk about ALL the time, I would not buy their CD’s. Come on Judges, lighten up and quit favoring certain singers. And yes, you REALLY are doing that!! Go back to judging and not connecting with certain one’s. I don’t think getting up on the stage was cool either. I also miss Simon. At least he was honest and never commented that one was better than the other.

  17. This was hilarious. I don’t know what happened because the judges seemed to have so much potential during the auditions.

  18. beatiful beautiful……i get goose bumps and i am crying……yo man ..listen up dude…your in it to win it……i get sick to my stomach listening to these three clowns…and how did tyler ever get to be a super star …he can’t sing a lick all he does is scream,yell an holler

  19. I have to say I’m super dissapointed by American Idol this year. I watched last year, and I was super upset when Colton Dixon was voted off. I almost stopped watching. I have to say though, Angie Miller’s elimination really topped it off for me. Now that Angie’s gone, I’m really going to stop watching. People don’t usually vote for the people who are the best because they figure they’re safe anyway. Angie was going to win, and she didn’t deserve to go home and should have won because she was the best one. I personally feel that watching a show that people don’t vote for the person in the competition they truly want to win isn’t really worth watching. America as voters often get it totally wrong, and that definetally happened this season. -*”..

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