OFFSTAGE: Brad Paisley’s American Idol Judgeship Seems Unlikely

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

There’s only one way American Idol could recruit Brad Paisley to be a judge for the upcoming season. And that is if they rearranged the show’s schedule around his. I hate to be a Debbie Downer and shoot down the Internet rumors. After all, I would love — probably more than anyone — to see him dole out his sage advice and witty repartee to the Idol hopefuls. But I just don’t see it happening. Unlike newly-signed judge Mariah Carey, whose website notes she has “no tour dates at this time,” Paisley is a very busy man. He has 26 tour dates between now and November. And in November, it seems a safe bet he’ll be busy all over again as co-host of the CMA Awards. (This year’s awards show hosts haven’t been announced, but Paisley and Carrie Underwood have presided for the past four years.)

After that, he has a string of tour dates in Sweden and Norway. Then I’m guessing he’d like to spend the holidays with his wife and two little sons. And I know he has his next album in the works and that seven songs are done, but he’s still crafting the rest. So that means it would be difficult to be around much for the audition phase of the Idol games.

This year, however, they are giving singers a few alternatives to the big-city audition chaos (seven of which have already taken place). They can do so online, through a nomination or by finding this new Small Town Audition Bus Tour throughout August. So maybe there’s a chance Paisley could just come in for the Hollywood part. The show premieres in January, though, which means segments of those shows are likely be filming at the end of 2012.

Paisley is a busy man. But, that said, he’d add all kinds of genuine value to the Idol process. So if Idol wants him, they should offer to build the show around him.