Who would replace Jennifer Lopez on ‘American Idol’?

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Jennifer Lopez could be taking her final bow as a judge on Fox’s “American Idol.” E! is reporting that sources close to J.Lo told reporter Mark Malkin that she is planning on leaving the world-famous singing competition because she is “too busy.”

Lopez’s schedule certainly is a packed one — between filming for “Idol,” shooting movies like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” raising twins, going through a divorce with estranged husband Marc Anthony, and dating younger backup dancer Casper Smart, she’s one busy lady.

While Fox has yet to confirm the rumor that J.Lo is leaving “Idol,” show executives are very aware that she’s been wishy washy about continuing.

After she admitted she might not have a third season of “America Idol” in her, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe hoped to win her over.

“I know how much she loves doing the show and how much she cares for the kids,” he told TMZ. “We want her back. I want her back.”

But if she does decide the leave the show, then we can really only focus on one thing: who will replace her? We’ve come up with a list of celebrity ladies we think would be suited for the role, given their current professional status and past involvement with these types of singing contests.

Mariah Carey.
She’s one of pop’s biggest names, but her name isn’t quite as big as it used to be. She hasn’t had a surge of press since her unexpected (but still in tact) marriage to Nick Cannon. We think she’s the perfect balance of sass and honesty, plus she’s had a couple public meltdowns in the past, so we’re betting on a few off-the-cuff remarks from her, especially during auditions. Her kids are old enough for day care now, so it’s time for Mimi to get back to work.

Jessica Simpson
. She is the perfect example of someone who is still a household name, but hasn’t done a whole lot of work recently (much like J.Lo before she took the judge’s chair). Now that Simpson has had her baby (finally!), she’ll be looking to reclaim the limelight. She’s already had experience in television with her show “Fashion Star.” Was that just the beginning of Simpson’s new career in reality TV? Plus, we picture her as the perfect “I’m too nice to say you suck” replacement of Paula Abdul.

Miley Cyrus
. Yes, she is old enough to be a judge, actually. In fact, she came close to the position already on “Idol” rival show “The X-Factor,” but Demi Lovato beat her out for the job. We were surprised to hear that Cyrus was even a contender, given her hugely active music career, and no apparent need for extra exposure, but she’s proven that she’d consider a shift to television, at least temporarily.

Mandy Moore. While we’ve seen more of her on the big screen than the concert stage in recent years, let’s not forget her fame began with a pop music career. She’s another example of a once A-list celebrity who could use a good opportunity to stay relevant and “Idol” might just be it for her. We imagine she’d give off the same genuine vibe of wanting to coach people that former judge Kara DioGuardi seemed to radiate. The only question is whether Moore is just too… neutral.. for “Idol.”

Carrie Underwood. She took a year off from music after marrying pro hockey player Mike Fisher, but now she’s back on the scene. In recent interviews, though, she’s talked about how she enjoys her low-key lifestyle with her husband. “Idol” may not be our idea of low-key, but it’s probably a little less demanding than life on tour. She’s a huge name in music so this would be a big get for Fox. And who can forget that she’s arguably the most successful “Idol” graduate? Who better to judge other contestants than someone who has been through it herself?


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