Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler may be the newest "American Idol" judges along with Randy Jackson, leaving Kara DioGuardi in the dust as an ex-judge along with Ellen DeGenres, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul -- and fans wondering if the heart's just been ripped out of the show.

TMZ's sources say Kara's out and Steven's in, which in my opinion is a big mistake. Kara really grew into her role this past season, and there were nights when she made more sense than even Simon

She understood that most of the contestants were just kids, and helped them reach their potential with her spot-on comments.

After all, half the fun of the show is watching the likes of Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, David Archuleta, Jordan Sparks, Taylor HicksClay Aiken, etc., start out raw and unsure of themselves, and by the end of the season become star performers.

I think Lopez in many ways would make a great judge on the show -- she was a strong guest mentor in season six, giving usable advice without sugar-coating or being a jerk. But as the walking definition of a diva, J.Lo is always going to be looking out for herself on the show. She would need a Kara or Paula type to balance her.

As for Tyler -- really?! I've never thought of him as someone who'd be any good nurturing young talent, which really is the heart of what the judges do on "Idol." Aside from having a daughter who's also in show biz, what's he done in this line?

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Paula was good at giving positive reinforcement. Simon, for all his gruffness, really cared about the contestants and made them better.

Even Ellen, who I like a lot as a person but didn't think ever found her voice on the show, made it easy for the young contestants with her goofiness and un-offensive comments.

But they're now all gone. Which means this season's talented teens and young adults are being thrown to two aging stars who are only on the show to promote themselves.

And Randy, who's good but is the definition of a sidekick -- and the increasingly erratic and at times snarly Ryan.

I guess this impending train wreck will make for good television at first, but if the singers aren't getting any better, I'm not sure people will stick with the long slog that's the "Idol" season.

Hmmm, maybe Simon and Paula and Kara can be reunited on a new show, where they help aging celebrities reinvent themselves . . .

 

Put in your opinion on the judges merry-go-round in the comments, below.