When Simon Cowell revealed last month that this would in fact be his last season as an American Idol judge, speculation immediately began regarding who would replace the scowling Brit at the judges' table. Early rumor mongering had Ryan Seacrest doing double duty as both host and judge on AI, but today the New York Post's Page Six mentions a new, much more interesting candidate to replace Cowell next season: Howard Stern.
According to Page Six, producers are eager to hire Stern to fill Cowell's vacancy. Stern's exclusive, industry-changing contract with Sirius Radio ends January 2011, and the shock jock has been using satellite airwaves to talk openly about his future. "I was approached by a major TV network to take over a TV show and leave here and do that next year — and I did turn it downâ€¦ I'm not even sure if I want to be working. I'm waiting to see what happens," Stern recently said on his morning show, the Post reports.
Money issues aside — Page Six suspects Stern is using Idol as leverage to get a new contract from Sirius — another factor that could prevent Stern from becoming an Idol judge is his reluctance to uproot his life in New York and move to Los Angeles for a long period of time (see O'Brien, Conan). Still, a source says producers feel Stern would be as, if not more, combative with contestants and his fellow judges, including Ellen DeGeneres.
So have it at, Rolling Stone readers: Should Stern become the next Idol judge? If we were in charge, we wouldn't stop at Howard; we'd invite Robin and Fred to tag along too. Don't like Stern in the role, then who would you recommend to producers? Let us know in the comments below.
• Cowell's Fear of "Overexposure" Led to "American Idol" Exit
• "The X Factor" Due Fall 2011; Simon Cowell Confirms Departure From "American Idol"
• Fox Near Deal to Extend "American Idol" Amid Rumors of Cowell's Exit
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies