American Idol: Does It Work with Four Judges?
The other, of course, is the addition of a fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, to the panel, which created certain logistical problems from the start: What if the judges are split in the audition and Hollywood rounds? Is there enough time for them all to weigh in for later rounds?
Last week, the problems came to a head when the judges' ramblings, often repetitive critiques of the contestants, forced the show to run over its allotted 60 minutes, preventing some DVR users from seeing Adam Lambert's rendition of Gary Jules's "Mad World" (and Simon's standing ovation), and cutting into the next hour of television.
This week, judges, contestants and viewers alike paid the price when only two judges were allowed to give their feedback to each performer. The result was a somewhat off-beat night for the show that highlighted just how essential Simon Cowell's opinions are to the show.
Following Randy Jackson and Kara's critiques of performers like Matt Giraud, viewers were left wondering, "What does Simon think?" Then again, Lil Rounds may be wondering what position she'd now be in if Simon didn't have a turn to give her some harsh criticism.
From inside the auditorium, Cowell (and the other judges) seemed to struggle with being muffled for half of the performances. Audience members could see them writhing in their swivel chairs and whispering to one another while their colleagues weighed in.
As the competition winds down -- and heats up -- there will probably be more time for all the judges to speak. But for now, the question of whether the addition of a fourth judge has been a success -- or not -- remains. -- Lisa Ingrassia
Tell us: Now that the show is well underway, what do you think of having four judges? Which judges are your favorites?