Welcome to the latest edition of as the American Idol Table Turns. Sources close to the Fox show say that Aerosmith front-man Steven Tyler has finalized a deal to join the judges table for the upcoming tenth season.
Fox and Idol producer Fremantle declined comment. But Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told the New Jersey Star Ledger that “the ink is dry on” Tyler’s Idol contract.
The band has been on the road since May for its “Cocked, Locked, Ready to Rock Tour,” which is scheduled to end in Vancouver in mid-September, right around the time American Idol judges go on their own tour for Idol auditions.
“I hope it doesn’t hurt the new momentum we’ve built up on this tour, because that’s been so important for us as a band,” added Hamilton. “But I wouldn’t want to be the one standing in the way of this for him. Steven is someone who absolutely lives to be in front of an audience, and the people closest to him know how witty and entertaining he can be.”
Observers have scratched their heads over the inclusion of a 62-year-old rocker with Silly Putty-esque features on a decidedly pop dominated show that is running after a younger viewing audience.
For his part, Hamilton also mused about Tyler’s fit on the show.
“I don’t know if American Idol will be rock ‘n’ roll enough for him,” Hamilton told the Star Ledger. “But it is an opportunity for millions of people to see another side of Steven Tyler.”
With Randy Jackson all but a sure thing to return next season, that only leaves one more Idol chair to fill. Negotiations with Jennifer Lopez, a previously reported shoo-in, have been rocky as the singer has reportedly made a series of exorbitant demands including a yearly salary north of $20 million and a retinue of hair and makeup aides.
Of course, there have been a raft of celebrities mentioned to fill out the judges table; everyone from Harry Connick Jr. and Justin Timberlake to Sean Combs and Jessica Simpson has been rumored to be in talks to join the show. And post-JLo breakdown, the rumors have now turned toward country singer Shania Twain. Stay tuned…