American Idol 2011 Judge Hunt Narrows

Simon Cowell won’t be returning for American Idol 2011 which means the show will need a new judge if they want to keep the 4-judge panel running next season. There have been many, many rumors on just who would take Simon’s coveted seat and now we have some more answers as Idol narrows the pool of hopefuls.

One of the current options to replace Simon is Harry Connick, Jr. who I thought made it painfully obvious that he was angling for the job during his stint as guest mentor this past season. Connick definitely has the background and ability to actually mentor the rising stars unlike some recent judge additions to the show.

Connick isn’t the only American Idol judge nominee at the moment though as Chris Isaak is being highly considered for the role. I was very surprised to hear that Isaak was one of the leads. Isaak has the ideal skills and background, but how are his mentoring and judging skills? We don’t know too much about how he’d function there, but apparently the suits think he’s got what it takes.

Now my personal favorite for the role: Bret Michaels. The man is awesome and he’s hot right now, way hotter of a commodity than either Isaak or Connick, sorry guys. The problem there could of course be his health conditions. He overcame those, despite doctors’ order, to show up at the Idol 2010 finale and rock it out with Casey James onstage, but maybe that wasn’t enough to convince the suits.

Rocker Bret Michaels was given the once-over and even lobbied for the job last week in an HLN interview (โ€œI would love to do it, I would really bring it to the table,โ€ Michaels told Joy Behar). Sources say, however, that Michaels is out of the running, at least for the “Idol” post.

Well that stinks. I figured he was practically a sure thing for the show, but I guess not. Idol would do well to at least have him as a mentor one week though since he’d be great for the rock ‘n roll theme and spike ratings.

Since Michaels is out and there’s a possibility that we’re down to either Isaak or Connick, I’m hoping they’ll go with the latter. He’s not my top pick, but he’s definitely got the right persona and charm to fill Simon’s seat.

If you could pick anyone to be the new judge, who would you pick?

Source: Hollywood Reporter




  1. #1: Jamie Foxx
    #2: Gloria Beckham but realize she's going on tour with the Spice Girls
    #3 Definitely harry Connick Jr.
    #4 Carrie underwood

    • Harry Connick. He is kind, funny, musically educated, and seems to have the best
      rapport with the contestants.

    • Too bad he doesn't "his stuff" is only about being obnoxious. Beyond that, he doesn't know anything…

  2. Absolutely Harry Connick Jr. He's knowledgeable, he's personable, he's honest and he's FUNNY. He'd be great!

  3. All 3 choices are good but even though Bret Michaels is hot right now, I think Harry Connick, Jr. is the best choice. He's musically brilliant and qualified to judge but in addition to that, he has a little "edge" to his personality and when he made comments to those he mentored in American Idol last year, he was honest and blunt about it. That's just what we will miss with Simon Cowell. I vote for Harry Connick, Jr. as a replacement judge.

  4. Chris would be fabulous. 2nd choice Harry. Brett is over-exposed. His new album doesn't cut it.

  5. I would by far pick Brett Michaels! I think he is awesome. I am really dissappointed to hear he is not the peson

    • i agree that bret michaels would be the best judge and also do more in getting more people to watch.

  6. Harry Connick Jr. would be my choice out of the three mentioned. But I really wish Neil Patrick Harris would be considered. He did amazingly well as a guest judge and also has the background and knowledge.

  7. I would like to see Bret. I think he has the best background in music for the job. He came up the hard way and knows what these kids are going through and could be a great help to them.

  8. I like Harry Connick Jr. but wish it could have been Pierce Morgan…… He would have been a perfect replacement for Simon Cowell.

  9. I love Brett..but I think Harry would do this job really good. But PLEASE DON'T Bring Back PAULA!!!

  10. …Pierce Morgan would be a great pick…but at the same time, Idol needs someone with some real draw power and edgy, along the same lines as Simon…

  11. jude can i slap you know lol , please perez hilton!!!!! , i hate this man with a passion he knows his on poop

  12. Bret Michaels for sure…. they better reconsider or I won't be watching this year… not after the last two seasons winners.

  13. I love Harrick Connick, Jr. and think he would be great.

    But I am thinking of some others who could pique ratings and interest:

    1. Jon Bon Jovi
    2. Merle Haggard
    3. Elton John
    4. Justin Hayward (Moody Blues)
    5. Ray Davies

  14. David Foster is a very good choice but not in the option….so I vote for Harry!!!

  15. Hi Matt ๐Ÿ™‚ nice to have a comment to read again about AI ๐Ÿ™‚
    My first choice is Harry Connick I think he would be the perfect replacement, he knows all about music and he mentored the contestants doing a wonderful job. My other pick is Bret Michaels, he is such a great person and with his feet on the ground, I love him. I picked him second because he is very sweet and kind. I am not sure if with a pannel of 2 so very nice judges (Talking about Ellen) this would be a perfect pick. Sometimes the contestants need to have really strong comments to put them back on track and I am not sure if Bret is the person that could give a strong comment to anyone. Anyway Harry or Bret are my choices.

  16. Harry is musically educated as should be to judge a musical event, not a comedy show.

  17. I love Brett, but he is a real creative guy and his talents would be wasted as a judge. He would be an awesome mentor! Harry has the teaching capabiliites and he is a straight shooter to be open and honest with the candidates and actually say the truth like Simon only probably nicer. I think Harry would be great!

  18. hi i heard last night that jessica simpson is next choice lord please let this not be true?

  19. My vote, David Foster…..he's got way more talent with artists the Connick and for certain Michaels, not to mention he would not be shy about sharing a constructive opinion. Harry Connick Jr. would mean the end of Idol.
    Think about it, DAVID FOSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • exactly! I've been thinking about all his past visits on Idol. David Foster would be the most logical choice for the show. Some of the names being tossed around would chase most viewers away. Harry Connick was tremendous on the show as well. C'mon Nigel, LIsten to the fans!

  20. Isaac. He's the only one with good musical taste as well as creativity. It would be nice to have a judge with good musical taste for once.

    I've also heard Elton John, Aretha Franklin and Madonna mentioned, and of these I'd go for Madonna for her wit, creativity and variety of music styles over the years, especially dance, soul and Latin, and she'll say just what she thinks. These people might be quite pricey though.

  21. But I am thinking of some others who could pique ratings and interest:

    1. Jon Bon Jovi
    2. Merle Haggard
    3. Elton John
    4. Justin Hayward (Moody Blues)
    5. Ray Davies

    Justin Hayward? Member of my all-time favorite band, and definitely one of the most underrated bands ever (should've been inducted to the R&R Hall of Fame first year of eligibility and they're still not in). How I'd love someone who appreciated such fine rock and roll to be a judge. Davies wouldn't be a bad choice, either.

  22. Have you watched Connick or Issac interviews…Bret Michaels, by far, is the most honest…he has empathy, but can also be a hardass, when needed.

    My other choices would be P Diddy (Sean Combs), Will i am, or Jay Z – all are very successful in the industry and their opinions are highly respected in the music industry.

  23. Bret Michaels…. All the way.. He would make the better judge. He knows music. He's been in the music business for over 20 years.

  24. Bret Michaels would be fabulous for the next judge. He has the experience and
    after seeing him perform in Dallas recently, he is the entertainer of the year. I will not
    watch American Idol if he is passed over.

  25. Between Isaac or Harry Connick Jr…I like Harry.
    If Harry isn't chosen…how about Mike Rowe, the Dirty Job Guy? He has a music background..even sang opera…He is well lliked and I think he would bring a lot to the show.

  26. I think Richard Carpenter (of the Carpenters) would be an interesting choice. Regis Philbin might be a good choice, though I don't know of his experience with music. How about Richard Gere, BJ Thomas, Tim McGraw, Michael McDonald, John Travolta, Billy Joel, or Peter Cetera? And how about Reba McIntyre or Cher?

  27. Brett Michael ,Jaimie fox,& Reba

    I'm willing to bet we'd have the feel of the first 7 years back

  28. I think Harry Connick would be good. But just a suggestion, what about Neil Patrick Harris? He has some background on music too doesn't he? I mean he was a mentor once.

  29. Everyone needs to remember we are replacing Simon. So therefore the person has to be opinionated and not afraid to voice it bluntly, have an ear for singing talent, and to be handsome and have an accent would not hurt. So here are my choices even though they probably won't matter to anyone:
    Steven Tyler, Bret Michaels, Elton John, Mick Jagger and since J Lo may be a judge why not Marc Anthony. Are my choices good ones? What is your opinoin….

  30. One is…Elton John…I would like to see The Dirty Job Guy, Mike Rowe..he has a background in music..even sang opera..I think he would tell it like it is..If they want someone who is a little mean…Donald Trump (just kidding)…Why an accent??? It started with the Gecko…now a lot of people with accents are on shows and commercials…

  31. Definitely Harry. Replace Randy with Jamie Fox. For sure J Lo and I think Christina McBride would be good.

  32. My "dream team" panel of 3 Judges for American Idol would be David Foster (critical/mentor/star maker), Harry Connik Jr. (great singer musician/hilarious/mentor) and Elton John (great musician/bitchy/blunt). Just wipe the slate clean and get 3 pros in. I like Bret Michaels, and I'm glad that he lived etc…but I think he'd be a terrible judge. He's too nice and his band had hits in the 80s, soooo bad. Also, I hate hate hate his headband, and would be distracted staring at it all the time.

  33. Jamie Foxx is excellent this man has so much talent he would be perfect. Perez Hilton in my opinion is not likeable and hurt the show more than help it.

  34. No one. The only interesting judge was Simon. Since he's gone, the show should be cancelled.

  35. I agree, but they are already holding auditions. This season should be the last anyway due to lack of viewers…

  36. I would choose bret michaels because wouldnt it be cool to be judged by a great inspiring singer such as him!!! I will be auditioning for it see im 15, and i would love to get either great advice or be told im amazing by the best out ther… thats why!!

  37. good luck with your audition..Why don't you put a video on You Tube..A lot of people are getting discovered on there..Justin Beber and and many more…

  38. All 3 would be swell. I can watch Brett all night long. But what about Conan? He would be an interesting judge.

  39. the best is Bret michaels he is grreat and a wonderful person.and has sex apeal and personality he is the cant go wrong .talented and was my favioret in posion
    he has been threw alot and is a survivor and is the best choice to take simons place

  40. I like Dirty Job Guy, Mike Roswe..He has a musical background. I heard they were looking for someone with an accent…why not the GECKO for GEICO….LOL

  41. you people are naming all these people who are still quite busy in their careers … none of them are going to accept it or are good choices … Consideration needs to go into their musical background and where they are in their life and career.
    steve perry ted nugent shania reba .. my picks

  42. We can suggest all the people that we want..BUT it isn't going to do any good…The prodcucer of the show will put in who HE wants. It might even be one of Michail Jackson's brothers.

  43. I would honestly want Bret Michaels to be the new judge. I'll miss Simon though. He was just so blunt. Was never a big fan of the show actually up until recently…

  44. Simon was honest with the contestants. I think Eric Clapton would make a good judge. He is talented and he has an accent, which is what Nigel is looking for.
    I don't know how popular the American Idol show will be this year..I can't wait for Simon's X-Factor show with Paula and Simon together again…

  45. Brett Michaels already had his go at being a judge on a music talent show. About 5 years ago he was a judge on Nashville Star.

  46. Doctor House plays a guitarr and has an accent…I don't think Chef Gordon would be good..I don't know if he has a musical background…Nigel will put who he wants…I don't think he will listen to us.


  48. why not Brett michaels he would be the best to take Simon's place
    he is talented,great musisian, singer and wonderful personality i think you should hire him he wants the job and he is the best man to do it he also is very experenced with people and talent becasue he sure is hot and great

  49. What happened to Mariah Carey? Is she out? I wouldn't have missed an episode if she was judging.

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