The only thing that might remain the same about “American Idol” next year could be its name.
Well, it’s not that drastic, but it does feel as though the hit reality show is remaking itself from top to bottom, replacing nearly its entire judging panel and giving the format an exhaustive makeover. Other reality shows have undergone their own transformations in recent years, though none have been as comprehensive as the one “Idol” just executed.
As we welcome Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to the mix, let’s review a few other noteworthy reality switcheroos.
Before the Donald began to recruit celebs to complete his integrated-marketing-heavy tasks, he would collect a bunch of anonymous type-A’s for his show. His judges were unknowns as well: Carolyn Kepcher and George Ross, two of Trump’s longtime employees. Kepcher is gone by now, but Ross still appears on the show from time to time. Nine seasons into “Apprentice” history, Donald now routinely surrounds himself with daughter Ivanka and son Donald Jr.
Bravo’s hit cooking competition has asked a number of its judges to pack their knives and go. Ted Allen assessed chefs’ purees and reductions for two seasons. British author Toby Young slammed their seasonings and knife skills for two as well. Award-winning French chef Eric Ripert joined the show for its most recent, Washington, D.C.-based iteration.
“America’s Got Talent”
The U.S. version of the hit British show has seen its fair share of changes from the very beginning. Sharon Osbourne stepped in to replace Brandy after season one, and though rumors of her departure cropped up after season three, Ozzie’s better half is still sitting behind the judges’ table. We can’t say the same for David Hasselhoff, who left after last season and whose seat is now occupied by Howie Mandel.
“America’s Next Top Model”
Tyra Banks has proved a consistent presence on the competition show since its debut in 2003. The rest of the panel, though, has experienced a bit of musical-chairs syndrome. Janice Dickinson got the boot after four seasons, Twiggy was sent packing after five, and Kimora Lee Simmons left after one. In a particularly messy reality-show divorce, Paulina Porizkova departed after season 12 and promptly slammed Banks as a diva. These days, Banks is joined by photographer Nigel Barker and former Vogue editor André Leon Talley.
“So You Think You Can Dance”
Nigel Lythgoe is returning to the “Idol” fold for the upcoming season after a few years away. But he’s always been behind the “SYTYCD” judging desk. In the beginning, he was joined by a rotating cast of guest judges. Come season two, Mary Murphy earned herself a permanent spot, but it wasn’t to last. She left after season six. Adam Shankman arrived that same season. The lineup is now Lythgoe, Shankman and Mia Michaels.
Do you think the “Idol” shake-up will have a positive impact on the show? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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