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Entertainment behind the scenes

Shania Twain for “American Idol”? Judge auditions drag on

August 12, 2010

shania twainAnother day.  Another potential “American Idol” judge surfaces.

Who knew Simon Cowell (or even Ellen DeGeneres) would be so hard to replace?

With Jennifer Lopez apparently out of the running for being “too demanding”, country singer Shania Twain’s name resurfaced on Thursday as  “Idol”  producers and the Fox television network searched for a new line-up in time for filmed auditions in mid-September for the show’s 10th season.

Twain proved an audience favorite after appearing earlier this year on the show, both as a guest judge and a celebrity mentor.  The JLoidea of Lopez, on the other hand, had not gone down so well with fans online, making you wonder whether her name had been deliberately floated by “Idol” insiders to gauge popular reaction before any deals were signed.

Canadian country singer Twain, however, may have ruled herself out because of a planned TV show of her own on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) starting in 2011.  OWN said on Thursday it was still moving ahead with the show but did not yet have an air date.

What does seem to be emerging after the long months of  musical chairs is that “Idol”  looks headed to return to a three-judge format, probably  anchored by Randy Jackson and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. And reading between the headlines, one can see that the magic ingredient — chemistry — is playing a key role in the drawn out selection procedure.

It’s hard to see how Twain, or Tyler, who still has a performing, recording and touring career with Aerosmith,  will be able to fit in a five months, twice a week, commitment to “American Idol” over the long-term. And the same can be said of J.Lo who has a music career, a movie career, and twins to keep her busy.

Which means that the “Idol” producers may yet have a few more surprises up their sleeves.

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