"American Idol's" ratings may be down from 2011, it’s hard to argue that the show isn’t still the big kid on the block among the hundreds of singing shows (or at least it seems that way) on U.S. television.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s not increased competition, something “Idol” judge Randy Jackson knows full well.
As the airwaves are filled with stories about “X Factor” chaos and promos for Sunday’s post-Super Bowl season premiere of “The Voice,” Randy said during a conference call with reporters Thursday that the increased number of singing shows can overwhelm the market, which he expects is beyond the decline in viewership this season.
That said, he doesn’t expect “Idol” to be going away anytime soon.
But what is he going to do to freshen things up on "Idol" this season? For one thing, chucking one of his catchphrases.
“I might not be saying, ‘Are you in it to win it?!’ ” he said. “I think that one has been retired, man. That’s so last season.”
As for his fellow judges -- Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez -- he said that they're getting the hang of things. "Maybe they are being just a little more stern. Not tougher, stern," he told reporters. “I think you will see some change in that, in them. It may surprise you.”
The issue of judges is a complicated one, in that they're essential to a show's watchability but secondary to the performers themselves.
“Everyone on all these shows makes all the fuss about the judges, but it’s all about the talent,” Randy said. “Without the talent, you’d stop watching after five minutes.”
Nevertheless, he credits "Idol's" success to the chemistry of the panel, first with the original foursome of himself, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest, and now again with the new team.
“We had a chemistry that we lucked out with,” Randy said. “And we got lucky again with Steven and Jennifer.”
He plans on sticking around for a long time, barring offers to become a leading man in motion pictures. As for the guy whose contract’s about to expire?
“I think and hope and wish and pray that Ryan is going to be there,” Randy said. “He’s the best at what he does.
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