Patti LaBelle Disses Idol Judges


NEW YORK – Patti LaBelle thinks some people shouldn't be on "American Idol" — and she's not talking about the contestants.

"Some of the judges, I don't think they're qualified to even judge," she said in an interview Wednesday.

The veteran R&B diva wouldn't say which judge she thought was lacking on the hit Fox show, which has Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres picking America's top singers. Tuesday's "Idol" episode saw 12 female semifinalists competing during "Hollywood Week."

LaBelle said she was asked to be a judge on the series before Paula Abdul; a rep for the show had no comment on whether she was. LaBelle feels like the judges' comments to the contestants are too mean.

"The comments that were made, they could make you like wanna kill yourself," the 65-year-old singer said.

LaBelle's advice to singing hopefuls: "If you believe in yourself, just go for it. What do you have to lose? And when people tell you 'You can't,' you have to say, 'I can.'"

On the one hand, it's good she addresses this nonsense of putting any old clown on the panel to judge. For better or for worse, Cowell represents--as well as Jackson and DioGuardi--the gatekeepers of the music industry. If in addition to DeGeneres they're gonna bring on Howard Stern--who has not been involved in music for decades now, except as a fan--they might as well add to the panel average Joes off the street and call the show American Karaoke. Seriously.

As for her words of encouragement to contestants, they are not exactly what the literally dozens of clueless, untalented fools passing thru American Idol's ranks need to hear to further embolden themselves and torture the rest of us with their mediocre to foul vocalizing.

Then again, what do we care?