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The folks over at “American Idol” officially announced their new Season 10 judging panel Wednesday, surprising the precisely seven people in the country who hadn’t already read the rumors that it would consist of Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. However, despite the utter lack of shock or awe here, “Idol” presented this news in the splashiest way possible: in front of thousands of screaming auditioners at L.A.’s Forum arena, live-streamed on the Internet. Fans both inside the Forum and on the Web kept waiting for a surprise to justify all this fanfare. Maybe Paula Abdul would return? Maybe Elton John or Howard Stern had signed on after all? Maybe David Hasselhoff, prematurely freed from his “Dancing With The Stars” obligations, had come onboard? Maybe Simon Cowell had been lured back with an eight-figure salary? But no.

This somewhat anticlimactic spectacle was followed by a live webcast of a press conference, in which the new panel acted like lovey-dovey BFFs and insisted repeatedly that Season 10 will be…(wait for it)…the best season ever. But many “Idol” fans were not buying it.

My own very mixed thoughts on Tyler, Lopez, new industry mentor Jimmy Iovine, and the Season 10 rules changes can be perused by clicking on the links in this sentence, but at the end of the day, it’s the everyday fans–the people who will be watching, voting, and considering buying future Idols’ albums–that really count. And while some fans are excited for “Idol 2.0,” many others are not happy.

Even the most cursory of glances at the AmericanIdol.com message boards, along with countless other fansites, makes this clear. The majority of haters are targeting their wrath at J.Lo, which is hardly surprising–while she is famous and successful, she’s not exactly likable (whenever she publicly fails, like when Sony dropped her earlier this year or when she fell on her derrière at the 2009 AMAs, the Twitterverse and blogosphere explodes with gleefully Schadenfreudean reactions).  

“I am so disappointed with J.Lo as a judge!” said one post on the show’s official site. “She is not worth the money, give it to someone else who could use the break.”

Said another disgruntled poster on the “Idol” fansite MJsBigBlog.com: “I for one will be very disappointed. I mean, I guess we’ll see how they actually play out next season, but J.Lo imo would be essentially the ‘Paula filler’ (ex-dancer turned pop singer), but I can’t imagine any of the warmth and sincerity that Paula brought. I just imagine her being a diva, all about her, etc., which would majorly suck for the sake of the contestants/show.”

Said another AmericanIdol.com user: “I’m not so happy with J.Lo as a judge. She’s a self-absorbed DIVA. I don’t care how many albums she’s sold, she is mainly an actress. When she starts talking, I hit the MUTE button on my remote.” That same poster also questioned troubled Aerosmith singer S.Ty’s credentials, saying, “Steven Tyler has the right background for the job, but can he stay sober long enough to make a comment? ‘Idol’ is on the way down the tubes.”

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