Iggy Pop, 'American Idol' judge? It almost happened, says the punk legend


Image Credit: Jeffrey M. Boan/AP Images

A few weeks ago, Iggy Pop performed “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” on an episode of American Idol. It was a lot like most of Iggy’s public appearances, which is to say it was manic, full-throated, passionate and shirtless.

He looked a little out of place on the Idol stage (even with Aerosmith frontman and former cocaine enthusiast Steven Tyler rocking the place up significantly this season), but can you imagine if Pop himself was the guy sitting behind the judges’ table trading bon mots with Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez?

Apparently, neither could Pop, though apparently that was a plan for a hot minute. In an interview with Billboard, Iggy said that the producers of the show dipped their toes into his pool for a brief second before hiring the new pair of judges.

“It didn’t go very far,” he said. “There were two phone calls. I wasn’t sure I was interested or available. I was curious and we spoke a couple times, and that was as far as that went. I don’t think I could’ve done the right job for them on that particular show. I think Steven (Tyler) does a really, really good job of it.”

He said that while he initially hated the show, he came to appreciate a lot of the more qualified contestants, including Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood.

While Tyler gave the current season of Idol a shot in the arm, the refreshing nuttiness he delivered during the audition shows has tempered a bit since the show went live. But Iggy would have been a fantastic judge, and he probably would have been both a lot more consistent—and way more judgmental. Of course, Lopez probably would have made him put on a shirt, which might have negated some of his mojo.

What do you think, readers? Would you have rather seen Iggy hitting on teenage girls and trying to tell Casey Abrams how he should rock? Or is Tyler the true savior of American Idol? Sound off in the comments below!

More on EW.com:
‘American Idol’ on the scene for Top 9 results show: The Idoldome is mad as hell
ABBA, the Stooges, Genesis join Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010
Steven Tyler talks drug use with Matt Lauer: ‘I needed that cocaine’

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
  • lol iggy pop


  • Hans M.

    What? It’s bad enough that lame-ass Tyler sold out further to rock ‘n’ roll. Put Iggy is *way* too cool for AI. Glad he didn’t, so I can still love ‘the Idiot’ and ‘Lust for Life’ without any guilt.

  • PurpleCheetah

    Glad he isn’t on the show any more than he already has been. His last performance, done without a shirt, was more than any of us needed to see…thankfully, my dinner was already digested.

  • Templar

    The reason Tyler’s coolness has slipped is because he’s used up his repertoire of carefully saved and memorized bon mots. It’s like your one uncle who has 8 or ten jokes in his gag bag and once you’ve heard them you wish he’d go talk to someone else. I respect Tyler as a musician, but in conversation he’s like lukewarm tea. Neither cool nor hot.

  • RK

    At least he is more relevant than…whatshername from last week. Larry King or something like that…

  • Kevin Mosley

    Iggy would have been a fantastic judge!!!!!!

  • Tully

    For one thing, the show wouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to dress Iggy. An idea: how about Iggy Pop being on the judging panel with Dolly Parton and Eminem? Only in a dream world.

    • Templar

      The good, the bad and the ugly?

  • Petra

    Steve Tyler was perfect. Yes, he has slacked off and he needs to contribute more or just get a heartfelt handshake for upping the ratings and dispelling the negativity of the last two Cowell-Dioguardi years.

    It could be as rumor goes, he slacked down because he was p*ssed about producers telling judges to give two favored performers only great reviews no matter what.
    But whatever the reason, Steven has to re-engage if he wants to keep the positive image he earned for himself in the 1st half of this Season.

  • Wendy

    Iggy? No thanks. I will take Steve Tyler anyday. Agree with Petra’s comments. He may reengage if AI producers stop controlling the outcome.

    • Heidi

      where did you hear that and who were they supposed to praise through to the finals?

  • Yami_C

    I agree with PurpleCheetah completely. While I enjoyed Iggy back in his “hay day” (the 80’s) I don’t think he has what it takes to be a judge of any kind. Much less a judge for “talent”!!

  • Frank from MusicNerdClub.com

    Oh I would have totally watched American Idol if Iggy was a judge. What I wouldn’t give to hear any of these singers try “Search and Destroy”, “1969” or “Death Trip”!

  • Robert

    All the Iggy haters could only wish they had 1/2 of his stamina, drive, intelligence, physique (especially for 64 years old), History, Back Catalog, etc. He’s the Godfather of Punk, and his music with the Stooges changed Rock History forever! Also, He probably doesn’t give a F#*k what any of you Wankers think about Him!

  • The Prophet Blog

    LOL @ people complaining about “selling out”.

    If you’re so high and bloody mighty about it then you shouldn’t even BE on a popular music blog like Music Mix.

    At the end of the day, I don’t know how you can hate on Idol when it’s produced talent like Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, KELLY CLARKSON, Adam Lambert, Kris Allen,Jennifer Hudson etc etc etc.

    These people can f-ing sing. Kelly Clarkson is basically the best female pop vocalist of the past decade. Hate all you want but wouldn’t you rather somebody talented like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson over somebody like Katy Perry who can’t even sing?

    And what’s so bad about Tyler doing the show? Have you seen the talent on this season? If I was Tyler I’d consider it an honor to be involved with such talented young people.

    • The Prophet Blog

      This comment was directed at “Hans M” by the way.

      • Hans M.

        I think it’s important to be informed on popular culture especially if you like underground and independent culture.

  • Leigh

    I also think Iggy would have been a great judge!! Although the music on that show is pretty pop star-ish and lame for his taste. I think he could give some great rock star advice about sticking to your guns and not selling out! THAT would be fun to watch.

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