With auditions currently being held for the 10th season of FOX’s American Idol, everything is starting to roll again on the well-oiled American Idol machine. With one glaring exception: there’s a seat on the judge’s panel open. In case you haven’t heard, Simon Cowell has exited the show. And while rumors have been swirling that his replacement could be anyone from Howard Stern to Bret Michaels, it seems there are now two frontrunners.
According to People, crooner Chris Issak- best known for his haunting 1989 ballad “Wicked Game” (remember the steamy video with him and model Helena Christensen?)- is now one of the top contenders for the highly coveted American idol judge’s spot. Not only is Issak a seasoned musician and songwriter, but he’s no stranger to TV: he starred in his own Showtime series, The Chris Issak Show– from 2001 to 2004. He’s also appeared in films and guest starred on TV shows like Friends and American Dreams. But it’s his impressive musical background that could land him the spot on American Idol– and he kinda even looks like Simon.
While Issak clearly has the resume for the Idol judge’s job, he has some competition. Zap2It reports that another crooner is possibly in the running for the spot- and American Idol fans already know him.
Singer Harry Connick Jr., who was a guest mentor last season on Idol, is also reportedly a front runner for the job. Connick was one of the hardest working mentors ever on American Idol, when he helped out the season 9 finalists during Frank Sinatra week last season. He jumped from giving constructive criticism to helping the contestants with their song arrangements to playing piano during their performances on the live show. And the dude was funny. Even Simon Cowell thinks Connick would make a good replacement. Now that’s saying something.
The new judge will be key to the continued success of American Idol. Last season’s choice to fill Paula Abdul’s vacated spot with comedian Ellen DeGeneres drew criticism, so filling Simon’s shoes is more important than ever.
So who would you like to see in the American idol judge’s seat next season?