'IDOL' Chatter: Diddy Is Fighting Jessica Simpson For Simon's Seat & Nigel Slips, Hints At His Return!

Thu, July 29, 2010 2:39pm EDT by Add first Comment

EVERYONE wants Simon Cowell’s recently vacated judge’s throne on American Idol. May the best man – or woman – win!

Simon Cowell, if there’s any hair-pulling, biting or scratching for your place on American Idol, we’re holding you personally responsible! Now that Idol producers are close to selecting your successor, even more celebrities are throwing their names in the ring!

Season six winner Jordin Sparks told HollywoodLife.com that Diddy would be a perfect replacement for the cranky Brit (we agree!) and the music mogul responded on George Lopez’s show, saying he’s more than up for the job!

“At first when people were asking me if I was interested in the job I was like no…that’s not my style, but once I heard what Simon makes…I would LOVE the job.  I’ve got six kids.  If I would get the same check Simon gets…we would have a ball,” Diddy said July 28.

But the rapper may just have to fight Jessica Simpson for the gig, if reports that she met with Idol producers are true! A source tells TMZ there is “mutual interest” between Jess, 30, and the powers that be. Sure, she might be entertaining, but can we really live through a whole season of “chicken of the sea” comments? HELL NO, says this writer!

One thing we’re nearly certain of is that Nigel Lythgoe is going to return as Idol’s executive producer. The Brit, who’s also a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, basically let the cat out of the bag on the show’s July 28 episode, saying, “We haven’t seen anything like that before on American Idol.” He even provoked host Cat Deeley to say, “Wrong show, Nigel!”

As for the rumors that Justin Timberlake and Elton John were being considered to fill Simon’s shoes, Deadline Hollywood’s Nikki Finke effectively cut down THAT scenario – both singers’ reps are denying they’re up for Idol.

So when WILL we find out who’s the new Simon is? Although a source tells EW that “the network’s dream scenario would be to make a splashy announcement at TCA on Monday morning,” referring to Fox’s August 2 presentation at the 2010 TCA Press Tour, sources – more realistically – predict an early September proclamation.

Hurry up, Idol - we’re waiting with bated breath!

Laura Schreffler

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