If Lopez Leaves: 10 Ideas to Replace J-Lo on Idol

With rumors swirling that Jennifer Lopez will not be returning to American Idol for season eleven, one has to wonder who they’ll get to replace the irreplaceable Miss. Lopez. Jennifer brought class to the Idol judge’s table. She also brought heart. She was a great addition to the show, but I’m not sure I would get on the ‘no one can replace Jennifer’ bandwagon just yet. People said that about Paula. People definitely said that about Simon. With Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler already signed on for next season, I’ve taken the liberty of coming up with my list of ten excellent options for filling that possibly vacant judge’s seat.

The Robbed Contestant

10: Melinda Doolittle

Season six’s third place contestant, Melinda Doolittle would be an awesome addition to the judge’s table, but she might lose a little bit of credibility because she didn’t actually take the title, although she should have, in my opinion. She’s got the talent and she wouldn’t be afraid to be honest. If you follow Melinda on Twitter, you know she shares her opinion honestly, but always constructively. I might not agree with all of her opinions but you can count on Melinda to tell the truth as she sees it and that’s exactly what Idol needs.

The Funny (Funniest) Lady

09: Jane Lynch

The only reason I wouldn’t want Jane to be a judge on Idol is because it would mean she’d have to take a break from acting. Jane is a gutsy babe who knows how to sing and knows how to perform. She could offer real advice for how contestants could improve and I honestly don’t think she’d be afraid to do so. Jane seems to really have an ‘up for anything’ sort of attitude that I think would make her a fun addition to the panel, but I don’t know if I’d continue watching Glee without Coach Sue so perhaps  Jane should stay where she is.

The Sexy Siren

08: Kendra Jade Rossi

Kendra might not be a household name to many, but she is the kind of gutsy, honest babe the show needs and would have a whole new demographic tuning in for the show. She clearly knows good music (she’s married to the incredibly talented Lukas Rossi) and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind. It doesn’t hurt that she’d bring some much needed sexy to the judges’ panel. She’s strong, sexy and confident – everything that Idol needs its new female judge to be.

The R&B Princess

07: Brandy

Brandy might seem like an odd choice, but she has the experience under her belt, she has a great voice and she knows what it’s like to feel the sting of America’s wrong choices. What Brandy brings to the table is first hand knowledge of how to deal with being eliminated way too soon from a reality television competition thanks to her experience on Dancing with the Stars. There is always a shocking elimination (Pia Toscano, Casey Abrams and James Durbin from this past season) on Idol and Brandy can comfort those contestants like no one else can.

The Wild Child

06: Courtney Love

No seriously – imagine it. If Courtney could hold it together, she’d be a great judge. She’d brash, loud but the woman knows music and you could count on her to be honest. The one thing American Idol season ten was really missing was brutal, Simon Cowell style honesty and Courtney could definitely deliver that. Sure she might give Steven a run for his money in the ‘huh’ moments department, but I think she’d add fire to the show and, like Kendra, bring in a whole new demographic. If not Idol, can someone put her on the next season of The Voice?

The Living Legend

05: Cher

Cher is a living legend with more than enough clout to bring real, honest music credentials to the show. It would be hard for a contestant to not take what Cher says serious because she’s freaking Cher. I also think Cher would be tough enough to take the emotional eliminations which is where Jennifer really had problems. While Cher is a busy babe, I think she’d do an incredible job if she could find the time.

The Multi-Talented Oscar Winner

04: Gwyneth Paltrow

How awesome would Gwyneth be as a judge? She’s proven she has vocal chops and has taken more than enough crap from the press to develop a thick skin. There is where I think she would be most beneficial to the contestants. She could not only help them develop vocally, but she could also help them deal with everything that comes along with life in the spotlight. Besides, guest spots on Glee aren’t enough. I want more Gwyn on my television screen!

The Country Diva

03: Shania Twain

Paula Abdul and Jennifer Lopez covered the pop music side of the business as judges on Idol. Steven Tyler covers the rock. Sure Randy is there to cover a little bit of everything, but none of the judges have really been able to represent country music. Shania seems like a sweetheart, but I think she’d have the guts to tell the truth when it came right down to it. My only worry is that she’d have a hard time with the tough eliminations like Lopez did, although I have the same concern about Gwyneth.

The Woman Who Started It All

02: Kelly Clarkson

Who better to choose the next American Idol than the very first Idol. Kelly Clarkson has long been the standard to which all Idol winners are compared. She knows better than anyone what it takes to win and I think she could offer valuable advice to any Idol contestant that took the stage. If Kelly had flopped out of the gate, would the show have made it to an eleventh season? Probably not. She is the woman that started it all and I think she’s a natural choice for the third judge in season eleven.

Mr. Music Himself

01: Jimmy Iovine

Come on – Jimmy would be perfect. He was great with this year’s contestants and wasn’t afraid to be honest, even if he came across looking like a dick for it. I looked forward to Jimmy’s critiques of the night’s performances more than the judges (although I love me some Steven Tyler crazyisms) because he seemed to be the only person on the show that had the balls to speak the truth. Would they choose him and break up the two guys and a girl format? Probably not, sadly. Jimmy would be the perfect choice.


So what are your thoughts? Who should fill the third judges’ seat for American Idol season eleven should one be vacated? Do you think Jennifer Lopez will return and if so, are you happy or sad about that? Sound off in the comments section below.