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Yesterday I heard Ellen DeGeneres would be replacing Paula Abdul as the fourth judge on American Idol. I thought it was a joke. She’s a comedian. It’s a pretty ridiculous idea. Yeah, good one, Simon Cowell.
But this morning, to my horror, Matt-Meredith-Al…one of them said it and I knew in that instant it must be true. Still, like any good journalist I did some googling fact-checking. The American Idol website confirms:
As the new judge, Ellen will offer her own unique perspective to the contestants throughout the competition.
Now, I like Ellen. I’d totally enjoy having dinner or brunch with Ellen and Portia. But I saw her as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance and it was awkward and forgettable. It was like she won the big audience raffle to be Judge for the Day. Sure, I’d like to have that seat, too, but that doesn’t mean I’m qualified to sit in it (though I do still recall dance steps from a couple of recitals).
Anyway, Ellen should not be a judge on American Idol. We must correct this horrid mistake immediately. Here are my suggestions for a fourth judge, from the tech world. American Idol is all about start-ups, after all. The human kind.
8. Jason Calacanis. Successful serial entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of Mahalo. Self-marketer extraordinaire, which is why some refer to him as Calacanus. Would twitter constantly so we’d get behind-the-scenes scoopage.
7. Howard Lindzon. Hedge fund manager, mega-successful digitial media entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of StockTwits. Crude, rude, very funny and very smart. Understands how to make it or break it in business and will challenge Idol contestants. Did I mention crude and rude? He’d be the anti-Paula. Plus which, he’d likely lead the charge on a profitable cable spin-off, American Porn Idol.
6. Caterina Fake. Co-founder of Flickr and founder of new consumer advice site hunch.com. She knows all about images and image, and that’s 50% of any Idol. Lots of good Ryan Seacrest pun possibilities with names like Fake, Flickr and Hunch. Caterina will respond, showing Ryan’s name minus the letter ‘e.’
5. Walt Mossberg. Principle technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal and co-founder of All Thing D. In 2004, Wired called him ‘The Kingmaker.’ Knows how to review products, and isn’t that what we’re looking for on Idol? The next great music machine.
4. (Winifred) Mitchell Baker. Chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation. Affectionately called the “Chief Lizard Wrangler” at Mozilla. Easily spotted by her asymmetrical haircut. Trained as a lawyer and a trapeze artist. Need I say more?
3. Fred Wilson. Co-founder of Union Square Ventures, active VC, avid blogger and extreme music fan. He has a great track record for picking investments (Twitter, Etsy, Feedburner, our T/S partner Zemanta). Also, his musical tastes are in line with mine so maybe we’d get some indie sounds.
2. Steve Jobs. Who can imagine and deliver a product better than Apple’s main man Steve Jobs? He’s just back after the liver transplant, but still looking pretty thin. This job requires a lot of sitting down so he’d also get a bit of a rest. Oh, and there’s already an Idol-iTunes relationship. Ka-ching, anyone?
1. Mark Cuban. Known as the Dot-Com Billionaire. Self-proclaimed Blog Maverick and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He has reality TV experience from his Dancing with the Stars stint. He says what he means and means what he says. Loudly. He’s an entertaining know-it-all who will give Simon a run for his money.
Who’s missing from this list? Let’s Idol up, people.