Senator jests he’s ‘in talks’ to be new ‘American Idol’ judge

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.

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“I’m surprised that you knew to talk to me. I am in talks with Fox to be the next ‘American Idol’ judge, or one of the two. Because of my looks I’d probably be replacing Steven. But there’s a pretty good chance now that I’ll be signed for the next season,” Conrad deadpanned.

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 CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDems demand Tillerson end State hiring freeze, consult with Congress Former New Mexico gov: Trump's foreign policy is getting 'criticized by everybody' Dems put hold on McFarland nomination over contradictory testimony: report MORE (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 BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's 12:30 Report Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Overnight Regulation: Feds push to clarify regs on bump stocks | Interior wants Trump to shrink two more monuments | Navajo Nation sues over monument rollback | FCC won't delay net neutrality vote | Senate panel approves bill easing Dodd-Frank rules MORE 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