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Simon Cowell Talks About His Possible Replacement (Perez Hilton?!) & Who May Win This Season

A few weeks ago Starpulse posed the question: can American Idol survive without Simon Cowell? The general consensus was that it simply couldn`t because he was the man everyone started out loving to hate but now just loves. But regardless of what the fans want, Cowell is poised to leave the series after this record ninth season comes to an end, moving on to focus on the American version of his other baby, "The X-Factor."

Earlier this week, Cowell weighed in on working with Ellen instead of Paula, who he`d like to see as a mentor before he goes, and who might be a viable candidate to fill his shoes in the tenth year - as if that`s even possible!

"It`s interesting that when [Idol] first started, we had a record producer, an artist, and an A&R man [as judges], so you had covered pretty much everything," Cowell explains. "I think over the years judges have been replaced by personalities. That in the long-term will create problems because you`ve got to be able to spot a star."

So what is Cowell`s advice in finding a successor? "He`s got to be good looking!" He jokes, but he is quick to point out that he also has to "know what he`s talking about...They really gotta [have] experience so they don`t just criticize but can offer constructive advice as well. My advice has always been to find somebody who actually knows what they`re talking about and has had actual success in the music business."

Howard Stern`s name has been in the running the press for awhile now, though Cowell says that as far as he knows, no deal is on the table. "He plays records [on his show], so I guess it could work," Cowell said with a shrug in his voice that leads you to believe he doesn`t really think it`s a good fit.

Blogger Perez Hitlon and Producer Steve Lillywhite have both recently made public pleas for the seat, as well. Cowell thinks that if any of those could make it work, it would be Perez. "Perez would be funny. He`s got a good taste in music; he`s a personality," he points out.

For now, though, Cowell isn`t worrying about what will happen when he`s gone. He is simply taking things one day-- and one episode of the current season of Idol-- at a time. Though he misses Paula, "She was just somebody I got really close to over the years. We`d hang out a lot after the show. She always made me laugh," he also admits to "guiding" Ellen through her first few appearances at Hollywood Week.

"We had a limited time, and the decisions were made rather quickly on the day. But then you watch it back and you think `Yeah, I could have made different decisions,`" Cowell is blunt as always when talking about those that made the cut and those who simply were cut. He urges Randy, Kara, and Ellento take a "trust your instincts" approach when making their selections but also to remember to consider both talent and personalities. After all, they are making an entertaining television show, as well as trying to find the next big pop star.

Right now Cowell thinks that all of the guys are kind of on par with each other, meaning "There`s definitely a better chance of a girl winning the show this year." Cowell says that regardless of gender or "look," it is always key to find "somebody who represents what is going on at the moment." He references Lady Gaga as that most relevant pop artist and is quick to say he`d love to have her on as one of the mentors.

And just what does Cowell think about all of the talk in the media that he is irreplaceable as a judge and the show maybe should - and probably will - tank without him? He is uncharacteristically (at least according to his on-screen persona) humble in responding: "It`s very, very flattering, and I really do appreciate it, but...the show goes on. I`m going to feel sad when it all ends, but it`s much nicer to be popular and appreciated!"

Source: Simon Cowell Talks About His Possible Replacement (Perez Hilton?!) & Who May Win This Season

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