The argument for a fourth American Idol judge

This week’s TV news contains a string of items that seem toeffortlessly segue into each other, so who am I to be an obstacle tosuch elegance?

ONE THING LEADS TO ANOTHER: This week’s TV news contains a string of items that seem to effortlessly segue into each other, so who am I to be an obstacle to such elegance? First off is a Variety story on the latest feint by NBC at pretending it’s a network that cares about programming, a drama about a man on his way to rock bottom who starts hearing music in his head that provides a clue to the direction he should be taking, at which point a new piece of music takes its place.

“I was trying to find a way to combine TV and music in an organic way," said writer and creator Jared Bush. "What we come to realize in the show is this guy has been given an opportunity to start his life over, and this music will help him find a way to become truly happy.”

The show – which gives an explicit shout-out to the music supervisor who’ll have to dig up and clear the tunes for the storyline – has been given the simple but straightforward title Soundtrack, and actually sounds like a half-decent idea ...

QUITE UNLIKE... Dancing To The Music In My Head is the new EP by Sanjaya Malakar, which has just been released. Does anyone remember Sanjaya Malakar? Two years is a long time in American Idol terms, and it’s hard not to look back on the more-hair-than-voice season six contestant as a symbol of our onetime irrational exuberance, like easy mortgages and high- risk mutual funds.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO... Former Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, expressing his disapproval of the addition of a fourth judge to the Idol panel this season. “At this stage when we have this dysfunctional family of Ryan, Randy, Paula and Simon,” Lythgoe told the National Ledger web site, describing his reaction to the casting of songwriter Kara DioGuardi. “You introduce someone else into that and it's like bringing a daughter-in-law into the family. You don't know if she's going to get in the way. Hopefully, she'll stand her ground, and she'll have relevant things to say.”

“It's something that I fought for a number of years simply because once you've been told you suck by one judge, you don't need to hear it from another three," Lythgoe said. I would disagree; if something or someone sucks, you can’t say it enough times, usually because you’re dealing with gargantuan self-esteem that begs to be nuked. And thus we have a Sanjaya record, two years after the fact; I rest my case.

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