Currently on tour, The Queen of Soul said in an interview last week that she would "love to be a judge on one of those shows. But I don't understand why singers like myself, Gladys (Knight), Natalie (Cole) and Patti (LaBelle) can't be judges."
"We never get a call. I don't understand it. I watch those shows all the time. Some of the talent is very good. Some of it is fun. And some of it is really wild" (i.e. They're horrible, but she's too polite to say it)
Why indeed? Wouldn't it be great to have someone like these women with years of experience, performances and music history to be judges? Who else is more qualifed to judge talent?
Of course we all know the reason. Ratings.
Producers think that legendary talents like Aretha or Gladys "skew" old, and the last thing they want are "old" viewers. They would rather get judges who they think would attract younger viewers, such as non-talents like Nicole Scherzinger (I still have NO idea who she is) or washed up has-beens like Brtiney Spears, who's getting, according to several sources, $15 million for just the first season as a judge on The X Factor. How she conned them into doing that is one of the great mysteries.
Hope Ms. Franklin isn't spending her spare time sitting by the phone.