American Idol has gone through a constantly changing roster of judges. There have been some perfect judges, odd choices, and stars who simply didn’t work out. One singer who would have been a perfect judge on American Idol is Elton John. However, the “Tiny Dancer” singer received a massive offer to appear on the talent show, but he turned it down, proving he had little interest in being a judge.
Elton John turned down a ‘$33 million’ offer to be a judge on ‘American Idol’
American Idol has been introducing new talent to the world since it premiered in 2002. Part of the show’s appeal is its everchanging panel of judges that started with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. Since then, some other judges have included Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, Steven Tyler, Keith Urban, Ellen Degeneres, and Harry Connick Jr.
According to TheThings.com, Elton John was a candidate to appear as a judge for American Idol. Fox offered him an enormous offer, but he turned the studio down.
“Elton, who was a guest judge on Season 3 of the hit FOX reality series, has turned down a whopping $33 million offer to be a judge on Idol. It is not known if the massive payday was for one season or for a multi-year contract.”
Reportedly, John would have replaced Cowell, who left the show in 2010. John’s lack of interest in becoming a judge isn’t entirely surprising, as the British singer hasn’t said the kindest things about the series. John once accused the show of being “racist” because three black girls he really admired kept finishing in the bottom three.
“These three girls would have the talent to be members of The Royal Academy or Juilliard,” John said. “They have great voices. The fact that they are constantly in the bottom three, and I don’t want to set myself up here, I find it incredibly racist.”
‘American Idol’ hasn’t had the best ratings since Simon Cowell left
Elton John would have had a tough time-saving American Idol once Simon Cowell left. For many viewers, he was the savior of the series, delivering harsh criticisms that blurred the line between cruel and hilarious. Cowell is currently a judge on America’s Got Talent but is much nicer than he used to be. He has also been a judge on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
Once Cowell left American Idol, the ratings plummeted until the series ended in 2016 before being revived by ABC in 2018. In an interview with New York Daily News, Cowell said he had not been keeping up with the series and acknowledged that the show wasn’t the same once he and Abdul left.
“I haven’t seen it at all, so I wouldn’t have a clue as to what it looks like now,” Cowell said. “Paula was the right leg, and I was the left leg. And with both legs gone, it wasn’t the same show. To be honest, I think it changed more significantly once Paula left. At least for me, the show was never the same because she and I had such a connection and such a shorthand together.”