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Speculation: Replacing Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell"American Idol" will be a lot less sarcastic and V-necky once Simon Cowell leaves the show. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Simon Cowell is set to vacate his "American Idol" judging chair, and we've got questions about his potential replacement.

Will the "Idol" producers promote from within (please God, not Randy Jackson)? Or start from scratch with a new leader, like they do when a Supreme Court chief justice dies?

Finding someone with Cowell's combination of sarcasm, stinging wit, garden variety meanness and other kinds of meanness will be tough, and pretty much rules out choosing a musician for Cowell's slot, since musicians spend their lives trying to be liked.

But if they do go with a musician, we've got some ideas. Check them out after the jump!

One last word of warning, "Idol" producers: You'll be better off picking a knowledgeable, mediagenic record industry insider like Cowell -- assuming another one exists -- than a celebrity. Especially a musician.

But if you insist, we've ranked some choices, in descending order from "sort of a bad idea" to "positively awesome":

5) Sheryl Crow: She's smart, capable of coherently stringing words together to form sentences (a plus for a rock star, but definitely not a given), and seems to be on TV a lot. Plus, she hasn't been doing much lately.

But: Can she speak authoritatively about hip-hop and R&B?

4) Lindsey Buckingham: The sometimes Fleetwood Mac singer/songwriter/producer/etc. understands both business and artistic issues. Plus, he could bring Stevie Nicks along sometimes.

But: (See #5).

3) Ben Folds: Did a great job judging the show "The Sing-Off." Seems generally cool and articulate.

But: The Fox network has not historically been big on cool and articulate.

2) The Black Eyed Peas would have to go on hiatus for him to appear. Maybe they would even break up.

But: No "buts." It would totally be worth it.

1) Three words: David. Lee. Roth. He could add this to his already varied resume, which includes metal star, emergency medical technician and public park loiterer. Plus, he could take the losing contestants out back for consolatory bong hits and games of beer pong.

But: This means "Idol" would probably have to cancel its plans for Sammy Hagar Night.

By Allison Stewart  |  January 12, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Speculation  | Tags: American Idol  
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I think you guys missed the obvious choice to replace Simon Cowell-Chris Cornell. I mean he has already mastered both rock and rap (obviously) , can be very loud and annoying and is on the verge of terrible comeback.

Posted by: josh18 | January 12, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I think Cornell will have his hands full with the Soundgarden reunion tour BUT it would be awesome to hear him tell a contestant that they're "looking California, but sounding Minnesota."

Posted by: ChrisRichards | January 12, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Awesome idea on breaking up BEP - I mean, hiring for this prestigious position.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | January 13, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

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