Would you watch a Simon-free 'American Idol'?

151849__sc_lOkay, so it’s probably just a pre-season P.R. stunt to get people talking about American Idol, but according to today’s New York Times, there’s a chance Simon Cowell might not return as a judge for Season 5. Apparently, he’s involved in a lawsuit with Idol producer Simon Fuller over his own hit British series, The X-Factor, and its similarity to the program that spawned Clay Aiken.

This raises the question, of course, about how damaging Simon’s departure would be to the Idol franchise. In my mind, it would certainly sting a little, as Simon is the only consistently strong voice among the judges (sorry, Dawg!), but in the end, I’d be willing to bet there’d be almost no audience drop-off for the show, provided the producers find an equally witty and outspoken replacement. (I’d go with the delightfully un-edited Kathy Griffin or the outrageous Mo’Nique; you needn’t be a record exec to differentiate between a Fantasia and a John Stevens, after all.) And anyhow, at its heart, isn’t Idol really about the contestants?

What do you say, Idol addicts? Can the show go on without Mr. Nasty? And if it does, who should take his place on the panel? Discuss!

addCredit(“Simon Cowell: Carin Baer”)

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
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  • Liza

    I’m sure FOX will replace him by another arrogant, condasending Judge, and won’t lose any viewers over that.

  • JrsyGrl

    I’d miss him alot, I think the show would definitely suffer, but I gotta be honest…I’d probably still watch.

  • Flip

    That’d pretty much be it. as much as everybody hates him and he’s an ass, nobody wants to see the wrist clapper and Rand Dawggy Dawg be the incumbent juges.

  • blah

    I won’t watch it either way. Simon is definitely the one to draw me in on the first few episodes with the auditioning. But past that first episode or two, the focus is definitely on the contestants. I think it wouldn’t be the same, but I don’t really care because I just don’t enjoy watching people sing boring songs really badly.

  • Christina

    American Idol without Simon Cowell isn’t American Idol. It just wouldn’t be the same without him and it will probably tank in the ratings.

  • Marcus

    Considering I already am growing tired of the series, the departure of Simon would be the closing deal on my fleeting viewership/

  • EP Sato

    I say they wipe the slate clean and get three new judges. For example, a popstar who had a hit in the last 10 years would be a good start. Another could be a producer and the third could be a former Idol “almost winner” like Bo.
    Anything would beat having to listen to the same o’ same o’ from Paula Abdul, “I love u dude” from no name, or another lame rant from Simon.

  • Robert

    If FOX tried to replace Simon with another “equally witty” judge, it would all look too efforted and contrived. A sort of Simon “knock-off.” There would need to be a fresh new idea, not just a recycled caricature.

  • kj

    the only reason i watch is for simon…

  • Jen

    My heart wouldn’t break if Simon didn’t return, but I’d much rather see Paula and Randy get the heave-ho. The latter two have absolutely nothing relevant to contribute to the show; at least Simon is occassionally amusing.
    If they were to replace one of the judges, I think Cyndi Lauper would be a good choice.

  • karl

    Simon is absolutely the best judge on AI. I think the success of the show is based mostly on the competitors though. I have a feeling that the series will only be around a few more seasons anyway.

  • JD

    it would suck without simon.

  • Carly

    American Idol – Simon Cowell = snore.
    Of course, I say this having given up on the show after season three. But still.

  • TV Addict

    The only way I would watch AI without Simon is if they replaced him with the best guest judge ever…Quentin Tarantino.

  • Mike in Moncton

    Gene Simmons. Come on, he’s the only one of the guest idol judges that had the guts to tell it like it is to ALL the singers, regardless of what Paula and Randy thought, and all the other guest judges sided with those two to please the audiences.

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