Wanted: Opinionated judge for popular singing competition who speaks his/her mind without being gratuitously rude. Must be able to withstand vocal torture in arduous audition process and distinguish the William Hungs from the Carrie Underwoods before suffering through the chorus. Music industry experience, the ability to be heard over thousands of "boos" and an aptitude for bantering are musts. This job is not for the faint of heart; people pleasers need not apply.
Before Season 9's top 24 were even revealed, American Idol had already seen its share of shakeups. Paula's out, Ellen's in and Simon Cowell made an announcement that will change the course of the show forever. In May, he'll be leaving Idol for his new talent show, X-Factor.

As the race to fill his seat charges full speed ahead, the question remains: How do you replace someone with Cowell's experience, expertise and charisma? Cowell can't say for sure, but what he would like to see is someone who knows what he's talking about. "Over the years, judges have been replaced by personalities. That, in the long term, will create problems because you have to be able to spot a star," he says. "My advice has always been to find somebody who actually knows what they're talking about and has actually experienced success in the music business."

Could Howard Stern and Perez Hilton be Idol material?


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