In casting the most coveted job on television, Fox will have no shortage of candidates. "The hardest thing, actually, about finding a replacement is that when you hear people's names like Madonna, it will never happen because you have to give a massive, massive time commitment," he says. "That's always been the problem when you're trying to find people to do these shows."

One name thrown out in the ring of public opinion? Shock jock Howard Stern. "He's played records. Maybe that's a good qualification," he says. "I know Howard's name has been in there for a while, but I'm fairly certain that there hasn't been an approach at any time for Howard to do the show."

Still, if Howard wants the job, Cowell says he should keep bringing it up on air. "Just basically talking about it on his show I think is brilliant," he says. "Good luck to him."

Blogger Perez Hilton has also made his bid for Simon's Coca-Cola cup well-known. "Perez would be funny," he says. "He has a good taste in music; he's a personality. I mean, that could work."

How Cowell really feels about Ellen DeGeneres


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