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American Idol Fodder

Simon Cowell: Not Sure About Stern

Simon Cowell has an idea who should replace him on “American Idol,” though he’s not so sure that person is Howard Stern.

In a conference call last week, Cowell pondered about his soon-to-be-vacated judge’s seat on the hit music competition, offering ideas for what type of person would jive with the show’s format.

“I think more and more now I’m starting to realize with these shows that we have to put people on the shows who actually know what they’re talking about rather than guessing,” Cowell said. “They really have to have experience so you don’t just criticize, but you can actually offer constructive advice as well.”

Cowell, who will depart “Idol” at the end of the current season, also tackled rumors that shock-jock radio host Howard Stern was the lead contender for his seat, saying producers had yet to approach Stern. If the choice was up to him, Cowell said the next judge should be less of a “personality” and have significant experience in the music business.

And is that person Howard Stern? Cowell doesn’t seem to think so.

“As I was saying that I thought, “He doesn’t seem to fit any of these criteria.” He’s played records. Maybe that’s a good qualification, that he’s played records. He’s a DJ,” Cowell said, laughing. “But he obviously wants the job. Good luck to him.”

Cowell also gave a glimpse into Season 9’s competition, saying there is a better chance a female singer could claim the title this year, after the two back-to-back wins of David Cook and Kris Allen. He said he’s looking forward to finding the next big female star.

“You want somebody who represents what is going on at the moment,” Cowell said. “I’d love to find a Taylor Swift, somebody who’s relevant rather than just a contest winner.”

Relevancy is key for the rest of the show too, Cowell said, including which guest judges he thinks could be the timeliest. His dream pick for this year- Lady Gaga.

“She is the most relevant pop artist in the world at the moment,” he said. “I think she should be number one. I’ve met her and she’s very smart. I like her.”

As for those rumors that he and new judge/comedian/daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres don’t get along, Simon squashed them.

“I wouldn’t say that we didn’t get on well. I don’t know Ellen that well. It was a difficult position for her because she started work on the Hollywood Week, which is quite a difficult show to do,” he said. “But no, there was no fallout.”

Simon said he actually thinks Ellen is a “good choice” to join the show.

“She actually is very responsible for people she has performing on her own show. I know that for a fact because I’ve dealt with her as a record label,” he said. “And she loves music and she’s been an artist.”

But with all this talk about new judges, does Simon still think about former judge and sometimes sparring partner Paula Abdul? He sure does. Cowell admitted to missing Abdul, someone he considered a good friend.

“Even though we used to argue a lot, she was somebody I just got very close to over the years. We’d hang out together after the show,” he said. “She always made me laugh; I always thought she was funny. It was just like not having your friend on the show anymore. I do miss her.” –Chris Sardelli

Posted by Chris on February 23, 2010 10:31 AM
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