Top Five Candidates to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol

So by now you've heard that legendary curmudgeon Simon Cowell is leaving American Idol after this season. Good for him. Probably a few years too late if he were hoping to jump ship before the franchise jumped the shark, but whatever.

Anyhow, his absence will all but drain Idol's talent pool, leaving it in dire need of an oversize personality to serve as the show's rating's magnet once the auditions are done. Here's a few ideas we came up with for his replacement.

5. Rick Rubin

Here's our wild card pick: Rick Rubin has the midas touch when it comes to reviving the careers of fading institutions and restoring them to their former glory (see the reinvigorated careers of Metallica, Johnny Cash and Neil Diamond). Given the opportunity, maybe the Def Jam co-founder and revered svengali can do the same with Idol? What's that. Ah, yes, this is personality driven. In that case, yeah, Rubin is probably a little too soft spoken.

4. Carson Daly

Speaking of personality: Yes, we know he has the charisma of a speedbump. Still, don't you think it's about time Carson caught a break? Word around the water cooler is that his show may get the hook because of that whole Leno debacle. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride and all that. Not so long ago, he was all set to take over the world and then along came that Seacrest character to steal all his thunder. Dude's gotta have a lot of pent up angst at being overshadowed. Perhaps he can tap into some of that and transform from a face to a heel?

3. Ryan Seacrest

Okay, this pick is a bit obvious. Seacrest already knows the franchise and has cache with fans. Not to mention, he's built up one of the strongest entertainment brands since Dick Clark. People are used to him telling them what's hot -- dude's like the pied piper. And perhaps figuring that Cowell's trademark curmudgeon is irreplaceable, network officials might look to Seacrest to bring decorum to the proceedings. You're right. Boring. Bad idea.

2. Bob Lefsetz

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Admittedly, Bob Lefsetz is a bit of a dark horse. He doesn't have the sort of name recognition the other prospects do. Nonetheless, the author of the widely read and highly influential Lefsetz Letter, has the stones for the job. He has a finely calibrated bullshit-o-meter, a pronounced knack for telling it like it is, regardless of whose feathers he ruffles and a not-so-secret disdain for the current state of the industry. Hmm... subversive much?

1. Perez Hilton

We can scarcely think of a more fitting replacement for Simon Cowell than this talentless windbag. Outspoken? Uh, yeah. Tactless? Check. Incorrigible? Just a little. Loathsome? Most definitely. Sanctimonious? You think? A good eye for talent? Well, let's not forget, this dickweed was an early booster of Lady Gaga. Just the same, he does have a pretty good gauge on what resonates with the sheeple.

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