Starting in January, "American Idol" will open up on a new era. When the show returns to the airwaves, the judges' table will look entirely new, as Jennifer Lopez and longtime Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will be joining Randy Jackson as the new adjudicators of talent on the hit show. (The producers also announced a bunch of other changes for next season, including the elimination of theme weeks and a permanent position for music business mastermind Jimmy Iovine.)
Tyler and Lopez certainly lend the show a healthy dose of star power (they each have a long history of success on stage, in the studio and out among the people), it will be interesting to see exactly what kind of vibe and chemistry they bring to the table. They have an uphill battle ahead of them, as according to the results of yesterday's poll, the original three judges (Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul) are by far the most beloved of any combination the show has ever had. That trio took home just about 70 percent of the vote, blowing away the nearest competition. Second place went to the new lineup (which at least bodes well for the show compared to the most recent seasons), grabbing 16 percent. The team of Cowell, Abdul, Jackson and Kara DioGuardi got eight percent, and bringing up the rear is season nine's combination of Cowell, Jackson, DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres (they took home a mere six percent).
Of course, we won't know how well Tyler and Lopez perform until the cameras roll on their work and the shows are broadcast. But even though they haven't been a team in several seasons, that original trio remains on a pedestal. At least people seem to be more interested in the new team than last year's squad, which gets them off on the right foot.