America's Got Talent, Piers Morgan
Simon Cowell will leave a huge hole on the American Idol judging panel when he leaves at the end of Season 9. Who could possibly replace him?
Simon Cowell leaving Idol, launching X-Factor
Fox isn't saying just yet. "We're not going to speculate about that," Fox chairman Peter Rice said. "I think the reason we're making the announcement in January is that we want to give ourselves time. We want to allow people to come forward. We were frankly surprised at the enthusiasm when we replaced Paula. ... I think we have to take our time on that and make sure that the chemistry between the judges is as good as it can be."
They might not be speculating, but we are. Here are our suggestions:
Piers Morgan: He has to be the most obvious choice, both because of his British flair and because he has experience judging TV talent competitions. One problem: America's Got Talent already lost David Hasselhoff, so NBC might pull out the stops to keep Morgan from also jumping ship.
David Hasselhoff departing America's Got Talent
Prince: No one knows more about music, and the artist formerly known as a symbol is an elusive presence we'd love to see humanized through regular TV appearances.
Ben Folds: He's got the musical background, and he impressed us with his real-talk approach while recently judging The Sing-Off.
Elvis Costello: After his appearance on Two and a Half Men, we know he's game for anything, and he could lend some of Simon's Euro flair.
Paula Abdul: Given Simon and Paula's love-hate relationship, what would be better than her returning to the show to fill Cowell's chair?
Conan O'Brien: Hey, Fox wants him!
Carson Daly: NBC's late-night shuffle could push Last Call onto the shelf. His days as an MTV VJ make him at least as qualified as Ellen DeGeneres to offer critiques.
Jon Gosselin: So we can get on with X-Factor totally taking Idol's place as the show to watch.
Which of these would you like to see take Simon's place? Vote below in our poll or share your suggestions in the comments below.