Jennifer López: A true American Idol
Posted by Nexos Latinos on April 2011 in, Entertainment
Jennifer López does it again with music, television and more.
“I want to dance. I want to make people dance and be able to sing with me.” That’s what Jennifer López wanted to achieve with her latest studio album, “Love?” according to RedOne, who produced the album’s first hit single, On the Floor “That’s what we did,” he told MTV’s Jocelyn Vena, “and it feels good. I think we’re going to have a big one.” RedOne has nothing but praise for the diva. “I love J.Lo. I’ve always been a big fan. She’s a true star. “
Of course, no album is complete without at least one corresponding video, and J-Lo poured her legendary energy into preparation for On the Floor. The next day, appearing on his radio show, she told him she would be holding an open casting call, looking for a particular type of dancer to appear on the video. “You know those kids who go to the club and they dance all night and that’s all they care about? It’s just about having a good time, getting all sweaty, and it’s all about the music and leaving it on the dance floor.” She was not going to leave their selection up to anonymous minions. Later that day, she sent audition details out to the Twitterverse: “Open Casting Call for HOT dancers/club kids for my new video!!! … LET’S GO!”
Seacrest, of course, is J-Lo’s costar on her other big venture of the year—her first season as a judge on American Idol, which she and fellow newbie Steven Tyler have completely revitalized. Speaking with Latina Magazine, Jennifer says, “It has a fresh, new feeling. Everybody is happy to be there and having a great time. Where else could everything that Steven and I have experienced and gone through and learned in our lives—where else could we pass that knowledge along? Even though we are judging (the contestants) and have to give some harsh criticism sometimes, what we’re trying to do is to help them be better and to grow as artists.”
Some were afraid that Jennifer would lack the toughness to criticize lackluster contestants, but even The New York Times is praising Jennifer’s performance on the judges’ panel. “With her seated in the center chair, there are echoes of Paula Abdul, but Ms. López is far more centered, and far more insightful. And measured, too. Often she says little to contestants, largely the ones who don’t deserve a full assessment. But when she commits to a critique, it’s direct and refreshing, a combination of industry savvy and emotional comfort.”
The industry savvy, of course, comes from long and hard-won professional experience. Many people are familiar with the broad outlines of her story—how Bronx-born “Jenny from the Block” worked her way up the ladder, getting her first break in the limelight as a Fly Girl on the TV show In Living Color. From there, she moved into acting; she made her debut in Money Train (1995), and won a 1997 ALMA Award for her first leading role, in the biopic Selena. Success followed in delicious romantic comedies including The Wedding Planner (2001), Maid in Manhattan (2002), Shall We Dance? (2004), Monster-in-Law (2005), and The Back-Up Plan (2010). Jennifer also performed in a more serious film, El Cantante (2007), co-starring husband Marc Antony. At a pre-Oscar party last month, her co-star in Monster-in-Law, Jane Fonda, told her how much she’d enjoyed her performance in that film. Fonda blogs, “She is as fine as I’ve ever seen her. Her considerable acting talent is in full force as a tough, sexy (gorgeous) Puerto Rican woman, the partner of the Puerto Rican singing idol, Hector Lavoe, played well by Mark Anthony. She blew my mind in the role. If I was still producing, I’d find a project for her with a role that allowed her to play this sort of character.”
Fonda is not the only person who’d love to offer her a job. Simon Cowell, American Idol’s curmudgeonly departed judge, is reportedly very angry that J-Lo spurned his invitation to leave the series. He wanted her to participate in his new venture, the American version of X Factor, set to premiere later this year. The diva was, however, understandably disinclined to jump ship—Simon Fuller, the man behind American Idol, is developing a new series for López and Marc Antony. Great Britain’s The Daily Mirror calls it “a grand-scale Latino series.”
This year, in addition to releasing an album and working on her television ventures, J-Lo has become the spokeswoman for L’Oreal’s EverSleek Hair Care, the “global ambassador” for Gillette’s Venus Razors, the designer of two new lines of apparel and accessories for Kohl’s, and the inspiration for a new Coty Prestige perfume, “Love and Glamour.”
If Jennifer ever rests, it is presumably at the lovely home she and Marc Anthony share with their two-year-old twins, Max and Emme. Situated in Hidden Hills, California, it was recently featured in the magazine “Veranda.” The home is a pristine study in elegant Art Deco, gleaming in whites and pastels, and sparkling in generous sunlight. Interior designer Michelle Workman told “Veranda” that “It’s sort of Jennifer in a nutshell — she has a romantic streak.” The house has the definite feel of vintage Hollywood. “It’s almost like a black-and-white film from the ’40s,” Workman explained.
Judging from a recent interview with Elle Magazine, López has no plans to slow her pace. “Everything I wanted before, I want twice as much now. And that doesn’t mean material things; it means to explore more, to think more. Being an artist doesn’t start because you’re 21, and it doesn’t end because you’re 51. You are who you are until the day you die.”