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Simon Cowell Talks American Idol Replacements, Ellen, Lady Gaga

Outbound American Idol judge Simon Cowell was recently asked about his yet-to-be-named replacement on the hit Fox show, along with who he would like to see this season as an Idol musical mentor. He also talked about the newest judge on the show, talk show host and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres whom he called a “good choice.”

“She is very responsible for people she has performing on her own show…She loves music and she has been an artist,” he said.

Every season American Idol brings musical mentors to the show to help the contestants with song choice and performance. When Cowell was asked who he would like to see this season, the choice was easy.

“I think we should have Lady Gaga because she is the most relevant pop artist in the world at the moment,” said Cowell. “So I think she should be number one (on the list). And I’ve met her. She is very smart. I like her.”

Cowell has been a fixture on TV’s No.1 show since it began in 2002. He announced in January that he would be leaving at the end of the current season to launch the U.S. version of his U.K. The X Factor on Fox in 2011.

When the famed judge was asked about what the show should be looking for in a replacement, Cowell didn’t mince words, stating the new judge must have “solid music industry experience.” He also sounded off on the swirling rumors that shock jock Howard Stern is being considered to replace him.

“I know Howard’s name has been in there, but I am fairly certain there hasn’t been an approach at any time for Howard to do the show,” Cowell told reporters in a conference call.

“He doesn’t seem to fit any of these (music industry) criteria. But he obviously wants the job! Good luck to him.”

Cowell added: “You’ve just got to find someone who can actually make a difference to the contestants, who is not afraid to speak their minds, who is prepared to be honest and occasionally blunt, but not to be gratuitously rude.”

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