Season 12 of ‘Idol’ marks a decade for me

It’s been 10 years since I appeared on FOX’s “American Idol.” A decade. That is completely crazy to me.

For several years now, I’ve thought that the downfall of Idol was right around the corner. Some of the more recent winners haven’t sold as many records, the show’s lost producers, gained producers, struggled with finding the right three or four judges (Ellen, Kara, Steven, Jennifer…honestly, who can replace Simon?) and changed it’s format several times.

But there’s something about “American Idol.” Maybe it’s because it was one of the first of it’s kind. Maybe it’s the painfully entertaining audition process everyone loves to watch. Maybe it’s Ryan Seacrest.

Whatever it is, “Idol” still holds magic. And for me, many, many memories.

Walking into the audition room to sing for the judges is terrifying. What most people may not know is that by the time these contestants have actually made it into that fateful room, they’ve already auditioned for several producers. So if they’ve been put through, they don’t know if they are one of the good contestants or bad contestants.

That’s up to Randy, the only original judge still left to tell them.

“Yo dawg, you shouldn’t sing,” he told several emotional hopefuls this year.

When I first heard the new THREE judges were going to be Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, I was shocked. I didn’t think these four would mesh at all.

And while I don’t think anyone will ever have the chemistry of Simon, Paula and Randy, I do think it was smart to have a musician/producer, pop diva, R&B superstar and country swooner represent modern music. It makes the judges comments seem more relevant when they’re coming from artists who are still out there making music (which is one of the reasons I think “The Voice” has been so successful.)

So far, there have been great singers, inspirational stories and judges disagreements to keep viewers coming back — for a while, at least.

The biggest surprise for me was Nicki Minaj. I really didn’t expect her to connect so much with the contestants or give any kind of constructive criticism. I found her to be extremely interesting and entertaining. I still think that as an artist, her stage persona is not what “American Idol” would consider at all “family friendly,” but it seems the show has slowly changed its focus to be less concerned about producing good family entertainment and more about finding the next mega superstar to help build and sustain the “American Idol” franchise.

I’m interested to see how this season turns out. I’d say it’s high time for another girl to take the crown.

What are your thoughts on the season so far? Do you like/dislike the new judges?


  1. Jeannette

    I didn’t care for the dynamic of the judges at all. There was way too much bickering between Nicki and Mariah. I tuned in the first night and for the first time since Idol has aired…..I will not continue to watch.

  2. DJ

    My name is DJ. I am a 11 year old boy scout working with your husband on the communications merit badge. During the lesson your husband told the story of your American Idol experience and said for a requirement to come your blog and comment. Are family are major American Idol fans and we thought it was a little weird to, but we have had a great time watching them. May the best man or women win.

  3. Bob (Wizard Radio DJ)

    Hi Carmen, Just wanted you to know we played one of the tracks from your album (Gather Me Up) just moments ago on Wizard Radio and it prompted me to do a little Google Search which led me here to your blog for Deseret News. We still play many of your tracks on at least a semi-regular basis and listeners hear them all around the world (ahhh, the beauty of the Internet). You are a terrific artist and a great role model. Best Wishes to you after ten years!

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