The American Idol producers at FremantleMedia today announced a new spinoff of their successful series, involving the 2008 Presidential race. CEO David Ellender, speaking in New York City, said that the company had secured an agreement with former President Bill Clinton to serve as one of the three judges on the new show.
Contestants will be drawn from competitions around the United States. The winner will receive one million dollars cash, and will be provided with a team of advisers. The Idol candidate would then run as an independent in the 2008 general election.
In the early rounds candidates will compete by speaking about an issue of their choice. The judges will assess the candidates based on their speaking ability, qualifications, and a variety of other factors. The top fifty will then be flown to Iowa, for another round to whittle the group down to roughly 12 finalists.
Clinton spoke at the announcement, expressing his feeling that this would be "a wonderful thing for democracy in America." Conservative pundit George Will suggested that this was part of a plan by the Democratic Party, in conjunction with their Hollywood backers, to get a conservative third-party candidate in play to take votes away from the Republicans. He also said Clinton is known to have a thing for Paula Abdul.