'American Idol's' Kimberley Locke: Judges are 'the foundation of the show'

kimberley-locke-320-getty.jpg Kimberley Locke's new single "Strobelight" debuts Tuesday, April 6 but she's still found time to check in with "American Idol" this season. She tells Zap2it what she thinks of the judges since her days on the show.

Kimberley on Kara DioGuardi:
Kara has grown on me. In the beginning, I wasn't so sure how I felt about her. She comes from a different aspect of the business, which is from the writing side. You can tell in her comments to the contestants that that's the world she comes from. I think that's an important part of the panel. When she talks about why people write songs and connect with songs, it's important the contestants know that and hear that. They need to understand that a song was written from a place, whether it was a place of pain or happiness, and they are there to deliver it. When she is confused on the delivery of a song, I always laugh because I know what she's talking about, I can see it. You can see the disconnection on their faces.

Kimberley on Ellen DeGeneres:
I love Ellen. When they first announced her on the show, I was like, "I don't get it" and I don't know if I still get it, but the part that I do get is that she is the voice of the general public, the voters. She's very sympathetic to the contestants, able to give them criticism and still make them feel good, which is important because that's what Paula used to do. Paula used to be able to give you soft and easy criticism, but she didn't make you feel like a piece of crap. I think that's important because the contestants are under so much pressure. You know you're going to get beat down a little, but you don't want to get beat down to a pulp. [ laughs] That's what Ellen is good at, that easy criticism.

Kimberley on Simon Cowell leaving:
It's definitely gonna change the vibe of "Idol." I think a lot of people tune in to listen to Simon, they love Simon. It's so tricky when you change up the judges because they're the consistent part of the show. The contestants change every season, but Ryan and the judges are the foundation of the show. I think it's going to change the dynamic of the show. If they get somebody who's really great and really respected by the public, somebody like an Elton [John] would be great, I think the show would go through mild adjustments and then it'll be okay, but they gotta be really careful about who they select in that position.

And what about Randy Jackson, who is producing "Strobelight?"

With Randy, he has been in every aspect of this business. He's been an executive, a promoter, a musician, an artist. He gets it on so many levels. So that makes me really excited and inspired with the project. When we're ready, once we get past the preliminary things with "Strobelight," he will be ready to go full steam ahead with the next thing. I'm sure he has a plan [for after "Strobelight"], he just hasn't verbalized it to anybody.

Kimberley already filled us on on her "American Idol" Season 9 faves and look for an interview with her Tuesday, April 6 all about "Strobelight." You can get an early sneak peek here, along with the dance remixes of "Band of Gold" and "8th World Wonder."


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Kimberley Locke's 'Idol' Season 9 faves
Kimberley Locke's "Strobelight," "Band of Gold," "8th World Wonder"

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