<p><span></span>With <em>American Idol</em>'s biggest star, acid-tongued judge <strong>Simon Cowell</strong>, announcing his departure from the show after this season, the race is on to find his replacement. A show insider tells <em>Life & Style</em> that actor-singer <strong>Jamie Foxx</strong> and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine are strong contenders for the job. "But Madonna would be a dream" judge for Idol creator Simon Fuller.<br />
"When we have to do something about Simon, I'll be in the luxury position of looking at all the greatest stars of the world," Fuller has said. The choice of a replacement is crucial to the survival of AI because Cowell is leaving to bring his hugely successful British talent show, The X Factor, to the United States. "The American Idol people were desperate for Simon to stay," the insider says. "They told him to name his price, but he still walked away."
When it began airing overseas, the original X Factor killed Pop Idol, the U.K.'s version of AI. And those close to Simon believe he wants the same thing to happen here. "Simon hopes to blow American Idol out of the water with X Factor," the insider says. And that's exactly what's likely to happen, according to entertainment insiders. "I think without Simon, [AI's] numbers will go down," Scott Sternberg, a producer of Paula Abdul's reality show, Hey Paula, tells Life & Style. "I think we all feel that now there's going to be a missing plug when he leaves."
For more on American Idol, pick up the latest issue of Life & Style, on newsstands now!
Photo Credit: Startraks
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