Steven Tyler spoke with the press Tuesday (Jan. 18) in preparation for his “American Idol” debut Wednesday night. The big news coming out of the call is that his contract is for more than one year — so let’s hope he does well.
He was mum about any other details, but it sounds like FOX is confident in Tyler as a judge. “I have more than a one-year contract, but as you know things are what they are,” says Tyler. “But I have more than a one-year contract.”
The call started with the press in listen-only mode, so Tyler entertained us with a limerick. “There once was a man from Kent, who had one so long it … I will not go there. I absolutely will not go there,” as his raspy laugh pours out.
Tyler tells us that the most difficult part of the job so far is having to be honest with kids who have hopes and aspirations. “The part that is difficult is judging young kids when I think they all have a voice,” says Tyler. “It took me a couple minutes to get into the role of that. But I’ve grown accustomed to it … sitting next to J.Lo and Randy taking the you-know-what out of everybody … J.Lo is a fox. She’s also street. She’s got a good, big heart.”
Being a famous rock star has us wondering if he’ll be more inclined towards the rock musicians on “Idol,” but he says that’s not the case.
“I’ve got a good ear for all music, it’s not just a one-phase type of judging,” says Tyler. “I’m good for all different musics and listening for voicing and the spirit of … some of the voices that aren’t the best make the best rock stars.”
But so far he hasn’t encountered a lot of rock in this year’s competition.
“I haven’t heard a lot of [rock], but what I have heard … for every week that I brought along someone I thought was great, the next week after they were given the wrong song and the wrong key and we had to drop ’em,” Tyler laments. “It’s teh beauty of the show and it’s also the heartbreak. There’s one [rock singer] … I hope he makes it through, his voice is so great. I hope he can stretch out and use the voice I heard.”
And to sum up what he’s looking for in the contestants, Tyler lists, “Can they sing? Do they have character? Do they have a star quality about them? That would be my expertise.”
“American Idol’s” two-hour premiere is Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.