Who's your dream 'Idol' guest coach?

Carly_lSo apparently, those rumors about Michael Jackson popping up on the current season of Idol were a little premature. Or at least that’s what producer Nigel Lythgoe wants us to believe. But there’s been buzz that the folks at Fox have been in touch with Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, and Timbaland about guest-coaching the contestants in the weeks ahead.

Which got me wondering: Which singer, songwriter, or music producer would you love to see make an appearance on the show — especially if their music served as that week’s theme? I’d pick Carly Simon (pictured), an artist with a large and lovely songbook that would help provide an episode that’s mercifully free of syrupy Celine Dion ballads and Stevie Wonder tracks the contestants simply can’t handle. Plus, with Carly’s well-documented stage jitters, she’d be an interesting mentor for a group of neophytes dealing with the glare of the national spotlight.

Now, it’s your turn: If you ran Idol, which singer or songwriter would you enlist as a guest coach — and why? And just to raise the stakes, try to limit yourself to one person. We’ll turn the 10 best answers into an upcoming EW.com gallery, so ready, set, pitch!

addCredit(“Carly Simon: Joe Kohen/WireImage.com”)

Comments (165 total) Add your comment
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  • Joe C

    Without question, Courtney Love. I’m dead serious. Ever since I heard the rumor that she’d take Paula’s place, I have wanted her on AI. I could just see some of these kids performing ‘Miss World’ or ‘Doll Parts.’ A man can dream…….

  • Jess Hahn

    Mariah Carey would clearly be a great guest mentor. Not only have about half of the contestants listed her as their favorite female star, but she has a ton of hits and album cuts for the contestants to choose from. A belter like Lakisha could do “Vision Of Love” or “If It’s Over,” a more subtle singer could do something like “Music Box,” and then the funkier contestants could take on “Make It Happen” or “Didn’t Mean To Turn You On.” If Mariah is such an idol for them, it would be great to see her help the contestants with their vocals.

  • JDeanB

    Carly Simon would be a wonderful choice. She has an incredible (and underrated catalog) and is a lovely human being. But I would also like to see Grace Slick. She could give Cowell some lessons in being caustic, and while most would choose the obvious (White Rabbit, Somebody to Love, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now),it would be fun to hear if anyone chooses, say, “Law Man”, “Across the Board”, “Eskimo Blue Day” or “Fast Buck Freddie”.

  • Kristin

    Elton John would be a dream.

  • Ben

    One word, Madonna.

  • DR

    My dream judges would never do AI, but here goes… mainly female singers such as Tori, Sarah, Joni, etc, who have a wealth of material that actually has some substance. I definitely agree with Carly Simon, too. I’d like to see judges whose material is relevant to the pop music scene instead of older crooners who end up demanding the kids perform stuff half of them have never heard and half of us don’t care about (or have heard 50 times on AI, like Stevie Wonder. His stuff is relevant, but overdone on AI). And the right judges could help get rid of those silly theme nights. I’d rather have an artist theme than a musical theme.

  • ABaker

    How about the soulful stylings of Anita Baker?? It’s only a coincidence that we share the same initial and last name.

  • Jen

    I swear I would love if Duran Duran was a coach for me. I would die to sing Wild Boys on American Idol

  • Howard Roark

    I’d love to see Journey night, or at least Steve Perry if he and Neil Schon are still feuding. Steve Perry is one of the purest vocalists in rock and I’d love to hear him coaching.
    Journey had tons of hits that can be performed in a variety of ways, as evidenced by the recent country hits covering their ballads.

  • Juan

    After much thought, I have three dream guest mentors. I’m gonna have to go with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

  • Juan

    But come on, I bet we see Ms. Houston this year.

  • Winona

    Paul McCartney, definitely. For starters, it would lead to some great songs to choose from – how the Idols would tackle them would be interesting. Plus, Paul’s always about the show, so I think he could teach them a thing or two about stage presence.

  • Paul

    Madonna would be great. Beyonce would be interesting, it could cover Destiny’s Child and her solo career. How about Whitney Houston? Kylie Minogue.

  • Julie

    Madonna.
    Don Henley.
    Mick Jagger.
    McCartney, Mariah and Michael Jackson would all be awesome. Who wouldn’t want to watch Michael Jackson on AI?!?
    I like the idea of Grace Slick too. Good suggestion.

  • Sean

    For the love of God will Simon and the other producers please call up Neil Diamond. People still underestimate this guy because he wears shiny shirts but he has a catalog of songs that spans 50 years plus he could teach the contestants some showmanship in which has lead to Diamond still selling out concerts well into his 60′s. Sweet Caroline, Cherry,Cherry, Holy Holly, Girl You’ll Be A woman, Solitary Man, and I could go on and on. Simon call him up!

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