It’s the most laughable [[American Idol (TV Series)|American Idol]] rumour I’ve ever read – that shock-jock Howard Stern was being considered as a replacement for acid-tongued reality judge [[Simon Cowell]].
While Cowell is opinionated and blunt-bordering-on-rude, he knows his audience. You might catch him winking at a pretty auditionee from time to time, but he’s hardly likely to encourage them to strip down and do a spot of pole dancing for the part.
We don’t get Howard Stern over here in the UK, but his reputation precedes him. We know him as an irreverent force of nature – says what he thinks, with shovelfuls of profanity to spice things up. And any clip I’ve seen of him, the conversation has been sexually charged. I’m not complaining, by the way, Stern is great at what he does and I’m sure he has a ball doing it – but it’s a million miles away from the family entertainment Idol aspires to be.
Stern has been very quick to capitalise on this sudden burst of publicity – he’s spoken out about new judge, [[Ellen DeGeneres]]:
DeGeneres is going to ruin ‘American Idol,’ ” Stern said. “Everyone goes, if Howard Stern takes over ‘American Idol,’ Ellen DeGeneres might leave. Well yeah, that’s the whole (expletive) idea. I’m not going to sit there with her – that dummy.
And it seems his prospective work colleagues – Ellen and [[Kara DioGuardi]] don’t want him anywhere near that judging panel:
DeGeneres’ fellow judge Kara DioGuardi agrees. When asked about the story Wednesday, DioGuardi told reporters, ”I don’t think he has a musical background, or any kind of music anything. I think that if you’re going to replace Simon, you have to have that background.”
Hilariously, some quarters are taking this rumour so seriously that they’re threatening that most deadly of weapons – the petition! Yes, the Parents Television Council wants you (if you’re stupid enough to believe the rumours) to sign a petition to keep Stern’s malign influence away from American Idol.
In a cute move, some Howard Stern superfans at Heeb Magazine have banded together to give their expert opinions on the possibility of him taking on a judging role. They almost universally pour scorn on the notion, leading to one of my favourite quotes:
That’s tricky because the FCC requires he keeps it clean to an extent. Barring that, I’d expect him to use fun loopholes and air-acceptable words that really mean ‘fuck, shit and pussy’ like he used on terrestrial radio, but, if he’s not ‘dirty’ then what is the point of picking him? He’s known for being edgy
From my point of view, this turned out to be a hilarious and over the top publicity opportunity for both Stern and Idol. As you all know, this is Simon Cowell’s last series of American Idol, and for the next 6 months the internet will be afire with speculation about who’ll take over one of the biggest roles in reality television. It almost certainly will not be Howard Stern, and more fool you for believing the rumour in the first place!