After Simon Cowell’s departure from American Idol (in his pursuit of creating an American version of British singing talent show X Factor (X Factor USA), which starts in 2011), producers are wanting to line up an equally big name for the vacant seat on Idol’s judging panel.
Pop star Justin Timberlake, and English music legend Sir Elton John, are the main attractions on a shortlist of 4 potential replacements for music mogul Cowell. The two superstars are the preferred choices of show founder Simon Fuller, who is also hoping to be rejoined on the production team by Nigel Lythgoe – who started ‘Pop Idol’ with Simon back in Britain in 2001.However, it has been claimed that Nigel’s return to the show could mean the current members of the judging panel – consisting of Kara DioGuardi, Randy Jackson and Ellen DeGeneres – could be completely altered.
The website Hollywood Report claimed: “Industry rumors have been circulating for weeks that show’s creator Simon Fuller and Fox are considering not just replacing Cowell, but dumping the entire judges panel.”
Back in April, Nigel admitted he would make a complete shake-up of the remaining members of the panel if he still worked on the show. Meanwhille, the other shortlisted judges competing against Timberlake and John for a slot on the new series are lesser-known Chris Isaak and Harry Connick Jr., with a decision set to be made in advance of the launch of the new series in January 2011.