Who Will be the Next American Idol Judge?

American Idol is coming off one of it’s worst seasons, in terms of ratings, talent, and critical response.  On top of that, Simon Cowell won’t be returning to judge next season.  Who should fill his shoes? If you believe the rumors, the short list of replacements for Cowell include Madonna, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Howard Stern, and Bret Michaels.  Here’s how I rate the possible replacements:

Madonna

Madonna: I doubt the show would be able to afford the Material Girl, but even if they did, I don’t see Madonna wanting to do a weekly television show (especially one that airs twice a week).  The chances of Madonna being the new American Idol judge are: SLIM.

Howard Stern

Howard Stern: From the minute it was announced that Simon wouldn’t be returning to Idol, the rumors started that Howard Stern would replace him.  However, most of those rumors came from Stern himself, not anyone associated with the show.  American Idol prides itself on being friendly family oriented TV, and Stern just doesn’t fit into that category. The chances of Howard Stern being the next American Idol judge are: SLIM.

Sean Combs

Sean Combs: Diddy, P. Diddy, Puffy, Sean Combs – no matter what you call him, this man knows the music industry and he knows how to spot talent.  The question isn’t if he could do the job, it’s if he can fit it into his already busy schedule.  The chances of Sean Combs being the next American Idol judge: POSSIBLE.

Bret Michaels

Bret Michaels: After his winning turn on Celebrity Apprentice and his courageous battle with his health setbacks, Bret Michaels seems to be everywhere. And now, he seems to be in discussions with Idol producers about replacing Simon Cowell.  Not unlike Howard Stern, most of the buzz surrounding these talks seem to be coming from Michaels’ camp, while the Idol producers have no comment.  Michaels know the music industry, and he demonstrated on The Apprentice that he is no dummy.  He’d be a good judge.  The chances of Bret Michaels being the next American Idol judge: POSSIBLE.

My opinion: If I was in charge of American Idol, I’d revert back to the three-judge system that worked so well in the show’s glory days.  However, I would make Ellen DeGenerous the host of the show and put Ryan Seacrest in Simon’s judge’s chair.  Think about it: Ellen is a great host, but she was a complete disaster as a judge last season.  Ryan knows the show and could easily slide in as a judge, and it’s no secret that he’s somewhat annoying as the host of the show.  What do you think?

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