Despite Steven Tyler announcing to the press that he was “probably going to be a judge on American Idol,” no real announcements have been made.
It was believed Fox execs would reveal the new Idol judging panel today at the Television Critics press conference in Beverly Hills, but they pretty much gave us nothing substantial. One exec told E!, "The only thing I can tell you with absolute certainty right now is that no one has signed a deal yet on either side of the camera to join American Idol next year that wasn't on it last year. There are no signed deals with anybody."
Even Randy Jackson seems to be in the dark about who will join him—either that, or he’s doing a good job of pretending. He said today, "The only thing that's for sure is Ryan [Seacrest]. Nothing has been decided."
Given that, he is totally pulling for Lopez to be on the panel. "If Jennifer Lopez is a judge I would be very happy," said Jackson. "I love her."
When asked about Kara DioGuardi getting fired the exec said, "I'm not going to get into the speculation about it, [because] it's not fair to everyone who is being speculated about."
As for Ellen’s exit, he added, "In early June, I met with Ellen and we talked about her feelings about the season and the idea that she wasn't comfortable. She didn't feel it was a good fit for her. I tried to dissuade her that it'd be different in the future, but ultimately we came with the agreement that we'd begin to look for new judges—which we were doing anyway because Simon was leaving…We felt confident that we could come up with a panel that didn't include Ellen as a judge."
Still no word however on the supposed frontrunners for the show: Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. "Much of the information that has been written is accurate, and some of the information has been wildly inaccurate,” added the network boss.
Well, they’d better tell us soon before we lose interest altogether!