When American Idol picked Jennifer Lopez as a judge, people hardly seemed to notice Paula and Simon were gone. The show remains the most watched reality show on TV, losing zero viewers since Simon's exit.
People love J.Lo. She's known for being one of the most demanding divas in the industry, and her glitzy reputation keeps viewers tuning in.
She was the perfect choice for Idol because, in recent years, she's remained relatively allusive. In fact, she is only recently planning her first tour. American Idol was the perfect platform to see what one of pop music's most successful divas has to say about the industry.
When Lopez attempted to promote her single, Louboutins, at the 2009 American Music Awards, she fell on her butt. Literally. The song failed to take off, not hitting the Billboard Top 100 chart. But only two years later, after performing on
It's safe to say, J.Lo is back. Her relationship with American Idol is a symbiotic one. She rakes in viewers, and her career has resurrected.
Not to be outdone, The Voice chose a pop diva in her own right, Christina Aguilera. Aguilera might be young, but she has the experience and the chops when it comes to the music business. Christina is at a point in her career where she has a legendary pop past under her belt—so what's next?
Enter a hip, new talent show with a twist. After her Superbowl flub and public intoxication arrest, the public might not admit it, but they love to see Christina in action. Sure, maybe viewers are hoping for a spectacle, but either way, ratings prove that she's relevant. People might not be tuning into Christina for the same reasons they're tuning into J.Lo, but the point is, they're tuning in. Aguilera is still a diva. A sloppy one, but a diva nonetheless.
Simon Cowell drew out the recruitment and announcement of his X-Factor judges for quite some time. And while Cheryl Cole and L.A. Reid are sensible choices, the show needed a familiar face—a strong, demanding icon like Christina and J.Lo. Who better than Paula Abdul?
If Lopez brings a comeback element to Idol, and Aguilera brings a current, young element to The Voice, then Paula's role is the same one she brought to Idol: her interaction with Simon Cowell highlighted by her ditzy, flighty personality.
The ratings will weigh in when the X-Factor debuts in the Fall, but with Paula added to the bill, The Voice and Idol will have some competition. Nice move, Simon.