The end of American Idol is drawing near. It’s the talent competition that changed the course of television, dreams coming true, and the music industry. It’s a show that puts star making in the hands of America, and well, the judges whom are the ones who get the say first. It’s about time the judges get judged for a change.
Since the show is coming to an end, we’ve ranked the judges from worst to greatest. See how the stack up below:
11. Nicki Minaj (Season 12):
From the start, we all knew this would be a bad fit. With Minaj’s diva attitude, and was hamstrung at the idea that she had to battle out Mariah Carey as if they were in competition before the show even started. She thought that fighting and causing a scene was better than helping the contestants. We’re glad she didn’t return.
10. Mariah Carey (Season 12):
You might as well call it tie between Mariah and Nicki, although Mariah might have been slightly better at the judging factor. Still, she wasn’t the greatest by any means. So much of the show was her throwing some kind of comeback or shade toward Nicki that it hurt her judging ability rather than helped it.
9. Kara Dioguardi (Seasons 8-9):
The girl has serious songwriting skills, but she wasn’t as talented in the judging area. It seemed as if she didn’t have anything helpful to say. She has a list of talent, but I don’t think she should add judging American Idol to that list.
8. Randy Jackson (Seasons 1-13):
We can’t count on our fingers how many times Randy says ‘Dawg’ in one sentence. He stayed far too long. So long that his catch phrases ‘In it to win it’ and ‘pitchy’ became jokes more than they were taken seriously. He did know what he was talking about though, and we give him credit for that.
7. Steven Tyler (Seasons 10-11):
The legend himself proved himself to be every bit worthy of his Rock ‘N’ Roll hall of fame reputation. He’s a solid performer, and is wildly unpredictable in his advice, which was, for the most part good advice.
6. Ellen Degenerous (Season 9):
Sure, she wasn’t the most knowledgeable on the show, but she was hilarious. She has no musical background, but the way she handled her advice was with boldness and integrity. We can respect that.
5. Paula Abdul (Season 1-8):
Paula was one of most unpredictable judges in Idol history. She was fun to watch, especially when she acted as Simon Cowell’s conscious was indispensable. Sure, her advice wasn’t the most keen or spot on, but watching her with Simon mad her a fun judge.
4. Jennifer Lopez (Seasons 10-11, 13-15):
Don’t be fooled. Jenny from the block isn’t just a pretty face. She knows what she is talking about when it comes to presentation and performance. Her connection with the contestants seems to be genuine, and points out the difficulty of performing under the pressured pack circumstances the contestants are under.
3. Harry Connick Jr (Season 13-15):
‘Harsh Harry’ may be harsh, but he knows what he’s talking about. He may be one of the wisest judges Idol has ever had. Music is his niche, and his advice is, for the most part, spot on. But, he does have a hard time understanding that a performance can still be good without being technically perfect.
2. Simon Cowell (Seasons 1-9):
Simon Cowell will go down in Idol history as the most harsh of all the judges but he always said what everyone else was thinking. His ‘Call like I see it’ attitude struck a chord with America, and it stuck. He’s music savvy, and his creation of One Direction and Fifth Harmony prove just that.
1. Keith Urban (Seasons 12-15)
Urban is one of the kindest, most genuine, and passionate judge the show has ever had. He knows a thing or two about creating a performance, sharing the stage, and being on a talent show himself. He understands what these contestants are dealing with, and the nerves they are feeling. His ideas for the contestants seem to always be on target, and his ability to critique without crucifying or humiliating an Idol hopeful is respectable.
Who has been your favorite American Idol judge? Sound off in the comments below. Don’t forget to watch night 2 of Hollywood Week tonight at 8 ET on FOX.
Kara Johnson is a writer for Examiner and other social media websites. You can keep up to date with her on Twitter @AlotLikeKara