'American Idol' Alum Stefano Langone 'Not Surprised' By Judges' Exits

Season 10 contestant tells MTV News it was a 'smart move' for Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez to leave the show.

"American Idol" has some big shoes to fill with the departure of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. While many fans were surprised that Lopez and Tyler were leaving Randy Jackson alone on the judges' panel, some, including season 10 contestant Stefano Langone, felt that the change was bound to come.

In fact, Langone, who released his first single, "I'm on a Roll," earlier this year, told MTV News he agreed that it is time for Lopez to pursue other endeavors.

"I wasn't surprised at all, especially with Jennifer Lopez," Langone said. "That's her staple in what she does in the industry, that's how she's carried her career throughout. Whether it was movies for a couple years, then she did music for a couple years and then she would do whatever for a couple years and then move on and master whatever she did. So she got on the biggest television show in the world, put her stamp on it and then she's going to move on. That's how it goes."

Langone, who finished in seventh place during Lopez and Tyler's inaugural season as judges, feels that this shake-up will also help reverse the show's recent dip in ratings.

"I think it's time for them to say, 'OK, let's have that same effect that we did two years ago when we brought in the judges and had the best reviews in the world,' " Langone said. "Why? Because everyone wants to know what Steven Tyler is going to say, everyone wants to know what J. Lo is going to say. After a couple seasons it's like, 'What else are you going to say now?' So I think it's a smart move on both parts."

Many names have been rumored to be filling in the vacant spots, including Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin, but Langone feels that a former "Idol" contestant would be the perfect addition to the judges' panel.

"I think they should have past contestants," Langone said. "There's a whole decade of contestants and I think maybe a winner or someone who did really well. Jennifer Hudson would be amazing, Adam Lambert, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard or any of those people because they really know what we're going through and I think that would be a cool compliment to the show."

Since his departure from the show, Langone has been hard at work on his "upbeat" and "positive" debut album, which fans can expect in September. And even though fans may recognize him from "Idol," he said he still has a lot to prove as an individual artist.

"A lot of people get it mixed up: Because I was on the show, they don't see me as a new artist. The reality is, I'm a brand-new artist," Langone said. "I'm very fortunate to be where I am, but still recognize what I need to do still."

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