Today’s “American Idol” rumor about the potential replacement for Simon Cowell has reality TV veteran and pop singer Jessica Simpson possibly stepping in to replace the cantankerous British judge who split after season nine.
According to Entertainment Weekly, an unnamed source close to the “Newlyweds” star said Simpson has had several meetings with “Idol” brass about possibly joining the show for the upcoming tenth season, which kicks off in January 2011. A representative for Simpson told MTV News she had no comment on the report.
“I’m not sure whether her people approached ‘Idol,’ or if it was the other way around,” according to the source, who noted that the “Dukes of Hazzard” star is just one of “dozens” of candidates who have reportedly been considered for the gig. Simpson joins a list that does not, however, include Elton John or Justin Timberlake, who were rumored to be in contention for the slot before their reps denied that either would be considering the spot on America’s #1 show. Meetings between “Idol” producers and John and Timberlake reportedly took place several months ago and were non-starters.
The spate of rumors comes on the heels of reports that former “Idol” producer Nigel Lythgoe is expected to return to the show for the upcoming season and that the “So You Think You Can Dance” judge/producer might be considering major changes to the remaining judging panel to give the show a boost. An “Idol” spokesperson has offered no comments on the Lythgoe, Timberlake and John rumors and could not be reached for reaction to the Simpson news at press time. Fox had no comment on the Simpson rumors, either.
The show’s producers have not announced when they would reveal the name of Cowell’s replacement, but the unnamed source told EW that “Idol” network Fox’s “dream scenario” would be to make a big announcement at its event at the 2010 Television Critics Association Press Tour on Monday (August 2). Among the other names reportedly in contention for the gig are singers Chris Isaak and Harry Connick Jr.