Tell me this, Bettys: How do you think Kanye West would have fared as an American Idol judge? Would a Kanye/Keith Urban feud have been as entertaining as the one between former judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj? Alas, we may never know—although it could have happened: Kanye reportedly turned down the third and final seat on the judging panel for Idol’s upcoming 13th season.
What really gets me, though, isn’t that he was offered the spot; it’s not even that he turned it down. It’s the REASON he turned it down. According to US Weekly, he passed on the offer because “he didn’t want to go that mainstream. He didn’t want to lose any street cred.”
To which I can say only this: Yo, Kanye, I’ma let you finish, but dating Kim Kardashian is the most mainstream relationship move of all time.
No, seriously. It’s true that Kanye has been fairly scarce on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but dating Kim means that by extension, you’re dating the Kardashian empire, and when it comes to “street cred”… well, it’s probably pretty safe to say that anything Kardashian-related doesn’t have any. At all. Nadda. Zip. Zilch. Theirs is not an empire that was built by pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps and rising above one’s humble beginnings.
Maybe it makes a weird sort of sense when you think about it; Kanye himself comes from a firmly middle class background, and he’s spent most of his career trying to convince record execs to take him seriously as a rapper. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel that there’s a reason for that. It always seems like he’s posturing—aping what he thinks a rapper should look and sound like. As such, Idol would certainly be something to stay away from, as it’s the literal embodiment of the pop star machine so much of the music industry has turned into these days. I still don’t know how dating Kim was supposed to help his street cred, but maybe that’s just me. Love is blind? Or something? Who knows.
At any rate, the third Idol judging spot is likely going to songwriter and producer Dr. Luke (AKA Lukasz Gottwald)—who, incidentally, produced Kelly Clarkson’s 2004 hit “Since U Been Gone.” Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez will be filling the other two chairs, so maybe this season, the focus will be back on the music, rather than on petty squabbles between the judges. Fingers crossed, at least.
Tell us: Would Kanye have been an awesome or a terrible American Idol judge?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.