By Judy Kurtz - 07/18/12 09:11 PM EDT
He may not be known for letting out high-pitched screams or for sporting wild, shoulder-length hair and leather pants, but mild-mannered Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) insists he’s being considered to fill Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler’s rocker shoes on “American Idol.”
With Tyler and Jennifer Lopez both recently announcing they were saying sayonara to the show, ITK inquired with Conrad on whom he’d like to see take over as a judge on the Fox singing competition.
Much like singer Cee Lo Green and his constant feline companion, Purrfect, on NBC’s “The Voice,” Conrad claims his beloved bichon frise, Dakota, will join in on any judging fun, saying, “The dog will be a very prominent part of anything I do.”
While the retiring lawmaker says his rate for his judging expertise is “less than Jennifer Lopez,” he did demand some dollars to display some of his melodic ability. After declaring, “You know, I sing,” ITK asked Conrad to belt out a few notes.
“I only sing when I’m paid, and I assume you’re not paying me,” the sarcastic senator playfully retorted.
But how does his voice stack up against other singing politicians? “Let me say, I’m about as good as Obama,” he said with a laugh.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) agreed that his Senate colleague would make a splash on the series, saying, “I’m for Kent Conrad. Kent Conrad, absolutely.”
He also divulged a second choice pick for the job in Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), saying of the former secretary of the Navy, “Look at his experience — where else do you have a person who comes to us from the military, who comes to us as a writer, who comes from so many different backgrounds, and, at times, does things that are so unpredictable? I think it’s perfect.”
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) wasn’t quite as confident as her Democratic counterpart that she would do well on “Idol,” telling us, “I’m not so sure I’m the very best judge of musical abilities and talent. But I enjoy watching it.” She suggested Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger could be cut out for the gig, but lamented, “He probably wouldn’t give up the time” from his demanding tour schedule.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) had her own idea for a potential J. Lo replacement, in the form of a colorful, former Texas gubernatorial candidate.
After pausing to consider her choice, “Kinky Friedman!” she chirped.
But don’t expect Sen. Sherrod Brown to be joining Friedman, Conrad or anyone else at the judge’s table on “American Idol” anytime soon. When questioned about whom he thinks would make a good new judge, the Ohio Democrat admitted, “I don’t know who the last five [judges] have been!”
—Lydia Nuzum contributed to this report