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!!!
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?