Ryan Seacrest says hello to the crowd at the Austin auditions of AMERICAN IDOL on Wednesday Aug, 11. Season 10 of AMERICAN IDOL airs on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw/ FOX.

Ryan Seacrest says hello to the crowd at the Austin auditions of AMERICAN IDOL on Wednesday Aug, 11. Season 10 of AMERICAN IDOL airs on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw/ FOX.

Please say it ain’t so. Jennifer Lopez becoming an American Idol judge? Why?

Right now nobody’s really talking and the reports are just rumors and speculation. But it is interesting to watch the scrambling and read the gossip about who might be sitting in those judges’ chairs come January of next year.

Let us first say that we at HollywoodOutbreak.com have always enjoyed J-Lo, but honestly, does the show need stars of her caliber to succeed?

We think not. Isn’t the point of American Idol to discover talent?

OK, we get that FOX might be concerned. After all, there was a notable ratings decline last season. But adding famous faces – who are probably costly – smells of desperation.

When American Idol began no one really knew who Simon Cowell was – at least not here in the U.S. Though Randy Jackson was an industry producer, he wasn’t a household name. Paula Abdul was considered a C-list star at best. Yet, somehow the show became a behemoth.

Here’s a suggestion…why not choose a lesser-known, well-respected music industry professional to offer critiques? Maybe add a new crop of judges that actually want to promote the show. Wouldn’t that be more effective than superstars who are far bigger than American Idol?

Maybe take a page out of the Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance playbook and make the contestants available for interviews on the performance nights instead of keeping them sequestered (other than controlled appearances). That way fans get to know them better and start to have an interest in the outcome of the competition.

We are big fans of Nigel Lythgoe, who is returning to Executive Produce the program after a two-year hiatus. Lythgoe was there in the beginning and did a fantastic job of revamping Idol for seven seasons before turning his sole attention to So You Think You Can Dance. We want to believe he’ll make the necessary changes to restore America Idol’s popularity. We’re just hoping for a return to form with less gimmicky casting.