Britney Spears

Might Britney Spears' comeback trail ultimately lead her to serve as a celebrity mentor to this season's batch of American Idol wannabes? Or, at the very least, might she be one of this season's guest performers, akin to how she recently served up "Womanizer" on Idol's UK counterpart, X Factor?

"She would literally be first on the list [to appear on Idol], as far as I'm concerned — in any capacity," Simon Cowell tells TVGuide.com. "I would love to see her mentor the contestants. But if she doesn't want to do that, if she wants to come on the show to perform, I would welcome her anytime."

Cowell, of course, was in the front row for Spears' Nov. 29 appearance on X Factor, where he serves as producer and judge. "The buzz we had when she came on our show was extraordinary," he recalls. "Even with all the stuff that's gone on with her the past few years, there was more excitement and interest in her than I've seen in anyone in years."

As such, he says, Spears "would be very, very welcome" in the Idol sandbox.

What's your take? Is Britney qualified to mentor aspiring pop stars? Or, short of pointing them to the electronic synthesizer, do you think such an important role is best left to stronger crooners?