Feb 02, 2012Randy Jackson: Expect lots of fainting in Hollywood
By Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY
Updated 1h ago
Get ready for some American Idol drama. Randy Jackson says the show's contestants were passing out all over the place in Hollywood.
"I don't think we've had a tougher, more challenging Hollywood Week ever," the Idol judge said during a conference call with reporters Thurday. The show's medics, he adds, were called in "more than ever. It was kind of weird. I think it just shows the intensity of what was going on."
So what in the world were the judges and producers doing that caused singers to start fainting? "We're just trying to judge them to the best of our ability," Randy says. He credits an increased level of competition upping the pressure on singers, and some of them couldn't handle it. He also says he saw a lot of kids who were waiting in the theater for their turn to sing stand up and applaud for the other performers, moreso than in previous seasons.
"We put these kids through the paces," he says. Also, fellow judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are more "stern" than they were last season.
"I think you'll see that change in them," Randy says. "They may surprise you."
Does Randy Jackson think past contestants like Baylie Brown and Colton Dixon have an edge this season? "I think they only edge that they have is they've been there before," he says. "Every year, if you watch the auditions closely, we'll say, 'You're not ready yet. Why don't you come back?' Well, this year, they came back!"
One piece of good news: Randy says he may have retired the phrase "In it to win it."
"That's so last season." (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Randy Jackson says he's "sad to hear about what's going on" with "The X Factor" changes. Says Idol judges "lucked out" with their judging panel: first with Simon & Paul, now with Steven & Jennifer. "It's really about having that chemistry."
Asked why ratings are down this season, Randy Jackson says, "Idol's in its 11th season. ... The space of singing shows is definitely a little crowded now. ... That's what happens when the marketplace gets full."
"We have a couple little wrinkles that we're going to throw in," in terms of creative changes, Randy Jackson says.
Who does Randy Jackson think would be a good new judge on "The X Factor"? Mariah Carey "would be amazing ... I don't know if that's ever going to happen." He thinks Simon will "have some very interesting ideas up his sleeve."
"We disagree a lot," Randy Jackson says of the way the judges see contestants. "We don't see everyone the same way. ... And people that we champion, we champion them straight up."
"I think this show can go on for quite a number of years," Randy Jackson says. "I hope and pray that Ryan's going to be there. ... I can't imagine doing a show without him, and he's the best at what he does." Randy says he'll be on "American Idol" for a while yet, but "you never know what the future brings. ... Maybe I'll become the next Brad Pitt or something."
Randy Jackson comments on the passing on Don Cornelius: "What Don was to urban music and black people and music in general, other than the great Berry Gordy, Don is right next to him. ... Helped me and helped everyone I know in their careers." He says Don put all of his acts on his show. "Amazing, amazing guy."
Randy Jackson says we've seen quite a few people that could maybe win this year. "You have to be great every time. It's the consistency of your greatness. ... Everybody has a bad day, but even your bad days are better than most people on their good days. ... Last season, we spotted Scotty & Lauren pretty quickly."
"I think America's just chock full of a lot of talent," Randy Jackson says. "You couldn't have three of these shows on the air otherwise." Being from the South, though, "I love the South, and I love the Midwest." But "there's amazing talent everywhere." Still, he'll give big ups for the South.
Randy Jackson says the judges didn't give out quite as many golden tickets as they did last year. That means longer hours and tougher challenges in Hollywood for the judges -- and the kids, too.
I can't wait to see tonight's Hollywood Week preview!