This season’s “America’s Got Talent” judge addition has seemingly inspired a drastic change on Fox’s flagship singing competition.
NEW YORK — Days after Howard Stern made his “America’s Got Talent” debut, Fox has announced a change-up to the ever-popular “American Idol” music program. Also plucking talent from the Sirius/XM satellite radio roster, the program will be adding the titular shock-jock duo of “The Opie & Anthony Show,” Gregg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia, along with co-host Jim Norton, as the new three-judge panel.
The show has caused much controversy over the years, even when it was on terrestrial radio. From falsely claiming the mayor of Boston was dead to allowing a man known as “Homeless Charlie” to wildly rant on topics including sexual advances toward Condoleezza Rice, the three have given networks plenty of reasons not to trust them. But according to Fox, that’s exactly what they’re looking for in the show’s new direction.
“They are exactly what we need,” said a source close to the show. “Opie and Anthony will bring not only a brutal honesty, but a chance to match the talent of the singers with humor that everyone will tune in for.”
However, Fox maintains that the move only comes from a need to “refresh” the show and galvanize its fanbase with new opinions and faces — not an attempt to copy NBC’s decision to bring Stern aboard. The “Opie & Anthony” fanbase, also known as “The Pests,” are split on their reaction.
“I think it’s a terrible idea,” said user ChipChipperson37, on the popular forum for the show, Wackbag. “There going to be so limited in what they can say. And any sincere reaction is just going to come off as a bit. Awful.”
Other fans say that before the show hit satellite radio, it was already under FCC strict regulations, which means that the team will not have any problems being funny on the Fox network. Though no other official announcements have been made, rumors are swirling that Anthony himself will perform weekly, holding any given piece from his extensive gun collection. It is unknown whether or not host Ryan Seacrest will stay.
“We’re very excited for the possibility of a new demographic coming to the program,” said one source close to Fox. “We just hope the guys can stay out of trouble.”
No similar plans have been made for NBC’s singing-only competition show, “The Voice.”