Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Victoria Beckham on American Idol is panned by critics

Victoria Beckham
Despite the criticism, the show attracted nearly 30 million people

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has been criticised by US media outlets for her guest slot on the judging panel of American Idol.

Beckham, 35, appeared in the first episode of the ninth series on Tuesday, replacing singer Paula Abdul who left the show last year.

The Los Angeles Times said Beckham was "the night's saddest failure".

New York's The Village Voice said the singer-turned fashion designer "had nothing to add to the commentary".

However, Billboard's Monica Herrera, said Beckham added a "new dynamic" to the show.

"While the episode featured a somewhat predictable mix of trainwreck auditions, potential stars and tearjerker segments, Beckham's presence and behind-the-scenes news about Cowell added a new dynamic," she said.

'Crazy close-up'

Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman, from Fox News - the same network that the show is broadcast on, said the star "made a surprisingly sweet and likeable guest judge, once you got past wondering how a 35-year-old woman could have such skinny arms".

But some critics were not so kind. Sharyn Jackson from Village Voice said her face was "too crazy for the close-up".

She added: "I always thought a British accent made people sound smart but I guess I was wrong."

Simon Cowell
Cowell is leaving at the end of this series

US TV blog Times, written by James Poniwozik, said: "On paper, Posh Spice - briefly famous for her music in the 90s, then famous for other things since then - is a Paula equivalent.

"But her main contribution was to anyone playing a drinking game based on the number of times she could use the adjective 'nice'."

Despite the criticism the show attracted nearly 30 million people according to preliminary Nielsen figures.

This season will be Simon Cowell's last, after he announced on Tuesday he would be leaving to launch a US version of The X Factor.

Entertainment mogul Simon Fuller, who owns American Idol, said he is getting daily calls from people who want Cowell's job.

Fox's Mike Darnell said: "I think people love to love the show.

"It's one of the few phenomena that exist: the Super Bowl, the Oscars, American Idol. It's an American tradition."

Katy Perry will also appear as a guest judge before chat show Ellen DeGeneres fills the slot on a permanent basis later on in the series.

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Sky Showbiz Posh's Figure Shocks USA - 18 hrs ago
ITN Victoria Beckham in US X Factor talks? - 26 hrs ago
Washington Post'American Idol' opens its first post-Paula season - 27 hrs ago
Time American Idol Returns: Why Simon Will Be Missed - 34 hrs ago
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