Simon Cowell’s Final “American Idol” Finale: 10 People We’d Like To See Replace Him

In case it slipped your mind because you were too busy obsessing over “Lost,” tonight is the highly anticipated “American Idol” finale. I’m sticking with my prediction that Lee DeWyze will take the title. But really, the question on everyone’s mind is: who is going to take over the title of most obnoxious judge? Even though we’ve been loving to hate Simon Cowell for the last nine seasons, watching him leave is kind of … well … depressing. How can “Idol” possibly be the same without flat top-rocking, v-neck t-wearing, honest-to-a-fault Simon? When Paula left, she took the crazy with her, which we miss for entertainment value, but it didn’t ruin the show. (A little birdie told me Paula will be making a guest appearance on tonight’s episode. I wonder what she’ll wear?) But when Simon leaves, will he take all of the show’s credibility with him? I guess that depends on his replacement. The rumor is that Howard Stern is the frontrunner for the job. Please let that not be true. The only thing Howard Stern is qualified to judge is a wet t-shirt contest. After the jump, our 10 picks for who should attempt to replace Mr. Cowell.

  1. I think Madonna may have the perfect combo of performer cred and hardcore honesty to get the job done. Her fake British accent wouldn’t hurt either.
  2. Neil Patrick Harris has proven himself to be a kick-butt actor, singer, and live TV host. Done and done.
  3. Nick Lachey has survived boy band cult status, marriage to Jessica Simpson, and a reality TV show. He could be like a much nicer, much younger, much hotter, more talented version of Simon. Me like.
  4. If Beyonce is ready to settle down and have Jay-Z babies, “Idol” would be the perfect gig.
  5. Get Diddy in there. He will whip those contestants into shape. It will be like “American Idol” boot camp.
  6. Justin Timberlake will bring sexy back to “Idol.”
  7. Conan O’Brien needs a job.
  8. Sharon Osbourne would know when an “American Idol” has talent.
  9. Jamie Foxx was the best “Idol” mentor ever. Why not promote him to judge?
  10. Sir Elton John wouldn’t let the sun go down on “Idol.”