Part-time Atlantan Elton John to judge ‘Idol’?

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imageApparently having forgotten the ups and downs that were Paula Abdul’s tenure on “American Idol,” the show’s producers are focusing on another mercurial singer and larger-than-life performer as judge — part-time Atlantan Elton John.

That’s if producers can convince John to give up four months of his life to sit with Randy Jackson and a judge to be named later and filter through the no-talent wannabes that make “Idol” auditions such entertaining TV. Does John really have that sort of patience? His past temper tantrums indicate otherwise.

Other than the obvious reason that one gay (John) would replace the outgoing gay (Ellen DeGeneres), why is John’s name even popping up on the “Idol” radar? Nigel Lythgoe, who’s returned as executive producer, told reporters on the Emmys red carpet Sunday night that the singer and pianist is on his “Idol” wish list.

“I’m still very supportive of Elton John,” Nigel Lythgoe told reporters on the Emmys red carpet Sunday night, seeming to confirm reports that the English singer and pianist is at the top of the “Idol” wish list as the producers set up a new judging panel almost from scratch.

But he added, “I don’t believe negotiations have gone well.”

There are difficulties, he said, over “accessibility,” because Mr. John would essentially be committing four months of his life to the Fox singing competition.

Lythgoe added that it’s the “chemistry between the judges that count,” not necessarily a background in performance.

“If you ever saw Simon Cowell barking as a dog, you’ll know that a performer’s background is not necessary to be a judge on this show,” Lythgoe said. “It’s somebody who can recognize talent, basically. … It’s the common sense that counts.”

We know John can perform. But his recent singing sellout performance at radio host Rush Limbuagh’s latest wedding shows that his judgment of late is a little — ok, a lot — off. And a run on “Idol” is sure to rile up the crazies that make John’s life that much more wacky.


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