American Idol

Judging the Judges: The Grand Finale

Our panel of ex-contestants give Randy, Paula, and Simon their final grades for the season

(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) FEDEROV, ADAMS, YOUNG, LOCKE
(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) FEDEROV, ADAMS, YOUNG, LOCKE

As our season-long Judging the Judges column draws to a close, our panelists — Kimberley Locke, Ace Young, Anthony Fedorov, and Amy Adams — reflect on Blake's beatboxing, Jordin's age, the strength of the Tuesday finale in general, and the fairness of Simon's final comment to Jordin. And then we asked them to grade, EW style, each judge's overall performance this season. Until next year! —Additional reporting by Shirley Halperin

MEET OUR PANELISTS:

Kimberley Locke's new album, Based on a True Story (Curb Records) was released May 1; its first single, ''Change,'' has already broken the top 15 on the Adult Contemporary charts. (Previously, her ''8th World Wonder'' was a top 10 Billboard hit.) Currently starring on the new season of VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, she will be a new spokesperson for Jenny Craig.

Ace Young recently opened select dates for season 5 contestant Chris Daughtry's band Daughtry. Ace also just finished up a U.S. tour with Edy's Ice Cream, which has released five Idol-inspired flavors. (For more details, go to slowchurned.com. He continues to work on an album with Desmond Child, and his current single, ''Scattered,'' can be heard on his MySpace music profile.

Anthony Federov is currently starring in The Fantastiks, the longest-running Off Broadway musical in history. He is also the 2007 spokesperson for the Sarcoma Foundation.

Amy Adams recently organized a benefit concert in her hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., for the Play It Forward Music and Arts Foundation, a center she's spearheading, she says, ''where underprivileged kids come to be exposed to and learn from people in the entertainment and arts industry.'' She is also working on writing and recording a country album, with an eye to release it at the end of the year.

Next page: Our panel sizes up Randy's season 6 performance

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