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'Idol' - Ellen is out, but who is in?

Posted by Sarah Rodman  July 31, 2010 06:54 PM

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AmericanIdol.jpg  "American Idol" is having an intriguing off-season.

So, Ellen Degeneres is not coming back after one season because she discovered she didn't want to hurt contestant's feelings by criticizing them like she had to during season nine. (Or at least this is what she said in her statement from Fox.) Now rumors are floating around that Kara DioGuardi, who was signed on a year-to-year basis, will also not be back next season and that former "Idol" producer and current "So You Think You Can Dance" judge Nigel Lythgoe will be returning to overhaul the show.

The current names being floated to replace Simon and Kara are Jennifer Lopez, and out of left field, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. 

Fox's presentation at the TCA press tour is on Monday so there might be some kind of announcement then. (Now, I'm sure there are plenty of reasons for Jennifer Lopez to be in Beverly Hills but, oddly, while out on non-TCA business, I passed by her at the Polo Lounge  at the Beverly Hills Hotel today. Aerosmith has a day off from its tour on Monday. For what it's worth, when I spoke to other band members Thursday night at their show in Irvine, none had heard a peep about the possibility of Tyler going to "Idol." Guitarist Joe Perry called it an interesting rumor.)

So what do you "Idol" watchers think? I know many of us thought last season was a bust in a lot of ways, are J.Lo and Steve-o the answer? If not, of the other names floated around of late -- Harry Connick, Jr., Chris Isaak, Jessica Simpson, and Bret Michaels of Poison-- who do you like and why? Who would you like to see that's not on that list? Can you believe Randy Jackson will be the sole remaining original judge?

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