20 years after the launch of “American Idol” Randy Jackson says the singing shows are “too good”

Twenty years ago, in April 2002, a small program called American idol began its first “Superstar Search” with open regional auditions in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta and Seattle. About 10,000 unknown singers appeared, and one was Kelly Clarkson with diamonds. Interestingly, Clarkson’s audition was not even broadcast at first, as it seems that the show’s producers were convinced that either Justin Guarini or Tamira Gray were on their way to victory.

But original judge Randy Jackson tells Yahoo Entertainment: “For me, Simon and Paul, [Kelly] has always been a leader. When we met her in Dallas, she sang a little, and I say, “Oh, that’s her.” … She slipped under the table. I put her in the judge’s seat, then went, joined in and sang in her place. That was the beginning. It was so relaxed. … It was a meager start to this great show, and it was just a classic. ”

Clarkson obviously complied IdolA bold mission – to launch a big pop star. Her coronation song “A Moment Like This” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and became the best-selling single in the US in 2002; her debut album, Grateful, then debuted at number 1, has sold over 3 million copies worldwide and entered the top 10 single “Miss Independent”. Not even a second-place Guarini movie flop musical, From Justin to Kelly, can ruin her success. And today Clarkson is an even bigger superstar: she has 25 million album sales and 45 million singles, her own hit talk show and – ironically – a regular concert in a singing show, which would not even exist if Idol did not pave the way The voice.

Jackson, who was the longest-serving judge American Idol history (12 seasons, plus working as your own teacher in season 13) understands this Idol it probably wouldn’t have been so groundbreaking or lengthy if someone other than Clarkson had won that crucial inaugural season.

“I think everything that happened that first season was really sour,” Jackson said. “It had to be, it had to happen. We had to meet her. … You really only need one great winner, and Kelly was them. … So when we found her, it was like, “My God, here it is.” … The gods sanctified us by bringing her into the room. A few months later, in the finale of Season 1, Jackson recalls, “Simon and I looked at each other and we thought,‘ You know what? It will really work. ” … I don’t know how magically it turned out, but we really did did not know if it really will work. And he who says he knew, so be it lie».

Kelly Clarkson won season 1 of “American Idol” in 2002. (Photo: Reuters)

As important as it was to have a successful first champion, the lightning chemistry in the bottle between the series ’top three judges – Randy, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell – was just as key to Idolsuccess. Some even argue that the judges, particularly Cowell, have become even bigger stars than Clarkson or any other winner. “We just clicked,” Jackson recalls with a fond laugh. “When we went live, no one could control us. We were wild!! We talked about what standards and practices would come down and said, “You can’t say that!” … talk about [host] Ryan [Seacrest’s] dating. We said, “Ryan, we heard you from someone last night.” Who was it? You were in the car … ”Like, we were at TMZ. It was what break off the hook. It was a club of wild boys and one girl. It was crazy, but we got a blast. We had fun. We hung out all the time. We are still best friends. “

Jackson, a veteran touring / session musician, manager and producer who came to Idol with an extensive resume that included that he was head of A&R for MCA and Columbia Records and played with Journey, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, George Michael, Stevie Nicks and Roger Waters, admitted to fearing that the show would be “banal”. In fact he had serious reservations about the adoption Idol judge work in general. “You know, it’s my business, my life,” he said. “It’s not just about being on TV and messing around. … What people don’t understand is what no one understands that Simon Cowell and I were A&R guys. We weren’t just performers as you see on these [other talent competition] shows. We were A&R guys, so the thing in our life was trying to sign, develop, find and discover new artists and make great records. So that’s exactly what we did. “

Jackson was tough Idol contestants, but certainly not as tough as controversial Central Judge Simon Cowell, and he admits he was initially surprised by Cowell’s harsh comments in those early days. «З of course there were times [when Cowell was too mean]. I remember a time when Simon called someone by name – I won’t use it – and I said, “Brother, you can’t do this! Now it has gone too far! ” But Jackson believes the pendulum has turned too far in the other direction, and now the judges of the singing show are too afraid to offend the feelings of the participants.

“Now I think they are all too good. It’s a tough, tough, vile business with zero points, ”Jackson says bluntly. “Being honest with someone – if you’re scary, you’re scary. You wouldn’t want to to know what Maybe I’ll say you’re scary, help you get together. Perhaps you will return to the drawing board, for example: “No, I will win Dauga! I’m coming back. I’ll be back to pick you up, Dog!

“One of the things I don’t like today is that there’s very little truth in these shows,” Jackson continues. “I keep saying in interviews that it helped me the most [when I was starting out] there was no – people that did not like me, didn’t like my acting, didn’t like my songwriting, didn’t like my production. Here which made me work and try harder. … Competition and challenge help us get better – no, no “You’re cute, but not today”. It doesn’t give anyone anything. “

Jackson believes that shows how American idol and The The voice now too soft because they are rated exclusively by pop stars, without any industrial insiders on the panel. (Current Idol the panel of judges includes Katie Patty, Lionel Richie and Luke Brian; the most recent The voice Clarkson, along with Blake Shelton, John Legend and Ariana Grande, called themselves “coaches”. no judges.) “The problem is no the pop star wants to be angry or wants to be so honest with any party … because they probably don’t want to get it back. They don’t want him back. And they want to be liked, ”says Jackson.

Randy Jackson during his last season as a regular ‘American Idol’ judge in 2013.  (Photo: Reuters / Phil McCarten)

Randy Jackson during his last season as a regular judge of “American Idol” in 2013. (Photo: Reuters / Phil McCarten)

But Jackson – who struggled with his weight in his early years Idol years and “tried all the diets on the planet” and even “urine of pregnant women” before undergoing gastric bypass surgery, founding a health brand Unify Health Labs and lose 114 pounds – says that unlike celebrities and pop stars, he was able to handle weapons. “When I evaluate and say, ‘It was awful,'” [the rejected contestant] could say on the air, “Well, you’re awful too, Randy Jackson!” But for me it’s good because Cowell and I took one oath: if you give it, you should be able to give it back. Participants came in and said, “Doug, you’re fat!” And I said, “Oh yeah, I have mirrors at home. I know! ‘ So this rock-’em, sock-’em reality went to me. An artist will never be with someone so brazen. “

Jackson says, “The whole thing with the refereeing, I felt like I was there, did it, liked it,” so he’s happy to go back to American idolThe original network, Fox, is in a completely different capacity: as the band’s leader in two seasons of “Fun Game Show.” Name this melody. But he clearly loves to talk about the legacy of his old show, talking about his beloved Idol winner (“Kelly Clarkson, Hands Down”), favorite season (season 2, starring Ruben Stadard and Clay Aiken), favorite show (Fantasia “Summertime” in season 3), favorite guest star (Quentin Tarantino) and what he is considered to be the most shocking departure of the series (Jennifer Hudson in Season 3 and Adam Lambert in Season 8).

And as for the different music stars that beat American idol for the past two decades, claiming that success stories like Clarkson’s are losing the music business to everyone else, Jackson is just joking in his typical open and ugly manner: “They were wrong. But to each his own.

See Randy Jackson’s full in-depth interview at Yahoo Entertainment below to learn more American idolhis return to Journey and his upcoming album Journey, Name this melodyand wellness.

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– Video made by Jen Kuchak, edited by Jimmy Ree

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