Photo Credit: Gary Miller/FilmMagic;Michael Becker / FOX
Lady Gaga is arguably the biggest name in pop music right now. And American Idol is as popular as ever. So it's little wonder that Gaga would drop by the show as it moves into its final big weeks on TV.
Ironically, the announcement about her upcoming Idol appearances coincided with some confusion over the premiere of her religiously charged video, "Judas." Rumor had it that the clip was going to premiere on Fox during Thursday's Idol broadcast -- which touched off a media debate about whether it was appropriate for such a family-friendly show.
In the end, though, viewers got a look at Jennifer Lopez's new video, with no mention of Gaga. Did Fox get cold feet? Who knows? But the full version of "Judas" premiered on the E! network instead. (And on Twitter, courtesy of Ryan Seacrest!)
That situation says a lot about the not-always-predictable state of pop culture. American Idol faces a constant challenge: It needs to stay current, but it can't go too far. Its fans love Lady Gaga, but let's face it, she's a live wire. They have to be careful.
But having her on as a mentor is a great way to draw on her expertise (and her popularity) without risking too much. After all, they can always edit her segments if she says or does anything too risqué.
In the meantime, her influence will surely be helpful to finalists Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, who could both use some help in the performance department.
Of course, it will also be fun to see what happens when the eccentric minds of Gaga and James Durbin come together!