Written by Sharise Cruz
Throughout its ten seasons on the air, American Idol has maintained a reputation of taking unknown talent and projecting it to the public eye. This season, the most interesting career building happening on the massively popular show isn’t taking place on the stage. It’s happening on the judges’ panel.
A judging gig on American Idol has brightened the career and image of one of the entertainment industry’s biggest reported divas—Ms. Jennifer Lopez. And she didn’t even have to camp out for five days to get a spot on the show.
Now, I completely understand that J.Lo was already a pop culture and tabloid presence well before this season of American Idol started.
Lopez has, in fact, been one of entertainment’s top entrepreneurs for almost a decade. Her JLO by Jennifer Lopez and Sweetface clothing lines have appeared on the runway during New York Fashion Week, she’s launched a dozen different fragrances and has a bevy of albums and film credits under her belt.
But her public image has always been a little dicey. She’s often been depicted in the press as an unapologetic diva with a list of expectations and an attitude the size of a certain body part she is also known for.
Even before this season’s American Idol judging panel was officially announced, rumors circulated that Lopez was kicked to the curb because of her outrageous demands and diva demeanor. The show’s producer, Nigel Lythgoe tried to quell the negativity by saying that Lopez “is in no way a diva,” but the press and the public weren’t really buying those claims.
When the show actually aired, audiences were presented the softer side of Jenny from the Block. She cried when she had to send home a sentimental contestant! She earnestly encourages hopeful young talent! She smiles and laughs and tosses her hair and has seemed genuinely delightful and devoid of unapproachable pretenses.
Lopez’s sparkling presence on American Idol has done wonders for her career and image.
“She’s tried a couple comebacks. They haven’t worked for her,” Stuart Levine, Managing Editor of Variety told CNN. “She’s not the celebrity she was 15 years ago. But she’s not stupid. She’s a smart businesswoman.”
Since the season’s start she’s been named The World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People Magazine and the show has provided Lopez with an avenue to perform and air videos for singles from her new album, Love?, which was released on May 3.
Is this kinder, gentler J.Lo authentic or is it all just an act? It’s tough to know for sure but one thing is definite—taking this job was one of the most brilliant things Lopez has done in her varied and affluent career.
The video that started it all.