Randy Jackson slams singing competitions for being ‘too nice’ these days

A lot has changed since Randy Jackson first served as a judge on american idol 20 years ago, including how singing competitions treat their contestants. The seasoned A&R executive reflected on american idol evolution, along with other musical reality shows, in a recent interview. According to Jackson, many singing competitions have become “too nice” and refuse to tell artists the truth about their voices.

Former ‘American Idol’ judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell reunited with Kelly Clarkson on ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ in 2019. | Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Randy Jackson served as a judge on ‘American Idol’ for 12 seasons

Jackson joined american idol in the very first season in 2002, with fellow judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul and host Ryan Seacrest. With the help of public votes, the three judges crowned Kelly Clarkson as the very first Idol winner, kicking off her incredibly successful career.

Jackson continued as a judge on Idol for another 11 seasons. He eventually became the most senior judge, as Abdul resigned in 2009 and Cowell left a year later. While season 12 was Jackson’s final appearance as a judge, he returned in season 13 as a mentor.

So what experience did Jackson bring to american idol? His musical career dates back to the 80s when he played bass guitar for various jazz, R&B, pop and rock bands. He then became an A&R executive at Columbia and MCA Records, after working with artists like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Jackson compared american idol to his work in A&R.

“Simon Cowell and I were A&R guys. We weren’t just artists like you see on these [singing shows today],” he said. “We were A&R guys. So our life’s work was trying to sign and develop and find and discover new artists and make great records. they were about to do was exactly what we did.

Randy Jackson thinks singing competitions have gotten ‘too fun’

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A look back at 20 years of IdolJackson said one thing had changed dramatically over the years: the judges on The voice and american idol are much nicer to competitors these days. He recalls a time when Simon Cowell would “berate” singers, and though he sometimes went overboard, Jackson thought some contestants needed to hear him.

“One of the things I don’t like about today is that there’s very little truth being told on these shows. If you’re terrible, you have to know it,” he said. to Yahoo. “I think they’re all too nice now. … It’s tough, tough, mean, no-holds-barred business. … [A] real reality show, you tell people the truth. Wouldn’t you like to know the truth?

Jackson added that the rejection helped him in his own career.

“People who didn’t like me, didn’t like my acting, didn’t like my writing, didn’t like my production. That’s what made me work and try harder,” he said. “It’s the same thing that happens in the groups. You are in a group. You bring these songs and everyone starts laughing. This song is terrible. You go back and write an even better song. Competition and challenge help us improve, not yes, not you’re lovely, but not today. It does nothing for anyone. »

Judges may not want to criticize for fear of getting them back, says Jackson

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Jackson went on to explain that the judges might have been nicer because they didn’t want to be pushed away by the contestants. They might be “mean” to the contestants and tell them they’re “awful,” but the contestant might later say the same about them.

“An artist will never be so brilliant with someone because they probably don’t want them back. They don’t want it back and they want to be loved,” he added.

Fans can watch the current season from american idol when new episodes air Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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