December 17, 2005 01:11 AM by Joe Blackmon
American Idol judge Randy Jackson recently answered questions from the media about the upcoming American Idol 5. As would be expected, Jackson insisted that the talent for American Idol 5 is better than any other season. What was more surprising is that Jackson said that there was quite a bit of “interesting fighting and dialogue going on amongst the contestants.” Jackson also said “I think the kids this time probably want this worse than ever.” If Jackson’s assessment is on target, then American Idol 5 should be in direct contrast to previous seasons when contestants usually acted like one big happy family and pretended like they weren’t in a competition.
Jackson also insisted that there were a couple new wrinkles thrown into American Idol 5, but he couldn’t elaborate on what they were. Jackson did however dispel any notion of the return of guest judges saying “We don’t need them.” Jackson went on to elaborate that it didn’t work because the guest judges were too “complimentary.”
Jackson joked around with questions about Simon Cowell’s new contract saying “we’re waiting on our raise to match his.” When asked if the show would work without Simon Cowell, Jackson quickly replied “Yes.” However, he then went on to reveal that he was just joking and said that the show wouldn’t be the same without either of them. While Jackson wouldn’t reveal details on his own contract, he insisted “We’ll all be on the show for awhile.”
In regards to the bad singers that always seem to make it into the audition rounds, Jackson said “People turn out and you go what show were they watching.” When repeatedly questioned about if the show was too cruel, Jackson insisted that “the show is definitely not about cruelty.” Jackson made the point that you have to let the contestants audition because you never know. Jackson pointed to Clay Aiken and said “what if we thought this guy should just be in a library somewhere?”
In regards to previous editions of American Idol, Jackson said that America got it right in selecting Ruben Studdard over Clay Aiken. Jackson said Clay Aiken ascended during the season, but Ruben Studdard was good from the day he started. Jackson also revealed that his favorite two American Idols so far were Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia.