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American Idol: Simon Cowell Dishes on Missing Paula, His Idol Replacement, & Dream Celeb Mentor

February 20, 2010 01:00 PM by Nancy Floyd


It’s hard to think about American Idol and not think about longtime judge Simon Cowell, but fans will have to get used to the idea of the acid-tongue Brit no longer being associated with the show. Cowell announced last month that this season of American Idol would be his last as he embarks on a new TV venture: launching the reality competition X Factor here in the US. Rumors have been swirling about his possible replacement and Cowell finally weighs in to cast his vote for the next American Idol judge…

It seems like everyone is vying for Simon Cowell‘s job! Since the Brit announced he was leaving American Idol, celebrities like Howard Stern, Madonna, and even Conan O’Brien have reportedly been among the short list of possible successors. Up to this point, Simon Cowell has remained mum on who his replacement should be but the American Idol judge and successful music executive finally weighs in.

When asked who should take his seat on the American Idol judging panel, Cowell joked, ”You’re never going to pick anyone as good as you are, are you? That’s why I don’t think anybody [at FOX] really asks me that question.” In all seriousness, Cowell thinks Madonna is a long shot and went on to say that he’s “fairly certain” Idol producers have not approached Howard Stern. Even if they have, Cowell doesn’t think the radio shock jock would be a good fit for the show.

“You’ve just got to know what you’re talking about,” he says. “We have to have people on these shows who actually know what they’re talking about, rather than just guessing. They’ve really got to have experience, so that they can not just criticize, but offer constructive advice as well.”

So who does Simon Cowell think his successor on American Idol should be? Celebrity gossip blogger, Perez Hilton! ”Perez would be funny,” Cowell said. “He’s got good taste in music, he’s got a personality, that could work.”

American Idol has certainly seen its share of changes lately. Last season, the FOX reality show added a fourth judge, songwriter Kara DioGuardi, and this season longtime judge, Paula Abdul was replaced by TV talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Regarding Abdul’s departure, Cowell said, ”Even though we used to argue a lot she is somebody who I got close to over the years. We’d hang out after the show, and she always made me laugh. I thought she was funny. It’s like not having your friend on the show anymore.”

As for the current season of American Idol, Cowell has high hopes of who this year’s winner should be. ”You want somebody who represents what’s going on at the moment,” he stated. “I’d love to find a Taylor Swift. Somebody who’s relevant, rather than just a contestant winner.” And speaking of relevant, what celebrity mentor would he love to see this season? Lady Gaga! ”She is the most relevant pop artist in the world right now,” said Cowell. “And she’s very smart. I like her.”

Fans aren’t the only ones who are disappointed to see Simon Cowell leave American Idol. The judge himself expresses his sorrow, saying, ”I’m going to feel sad when it all ends … but I want it to go out on a high. It’s my last season. I want it to be successful, and I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.”

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Photo Courtesy of FOX

Topics: American Idol, FOX Reality TV Shows, Simon Cowell |

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