'American Idol' Drama - A Look at the Rumored Judge Hopefuls

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The circus formerly known as "American Idol" just gets crazier by the minute. Last weekend the undisputed "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin sent an e-mail message to CNN offering her services as a judge. Now, normally if you want to apply for a job, you submit a letter of interest to the employer. I guess if you're a superstar, any news outlet will do. FOX remains silent on Franklin's announcement, but then, since she technically didn't apply to them, they're not really obligated to respond.

Franklin's overt play for the job comes on the heels of speculation that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler didn't leave "Idol" by choice . Maybe the producers realized that "Idol" was boosting the judges' careers but wasn't getting the same kind of bounce in popularity in return. What they really need is judges who can bring viewers to the show.

Here's my suggestion: the producers need to put their crystal balls away and quit trying to guess which judges would attract the most viewers. Instead they should put together an online poll of all the celebrities who've thrown their hat into the ring, and let the fans pick. Here's a look at some of the current contenders for the job.

Mariah Carey - don't get me wrong, I love Mariah, but this just strikes me as same song, different verse. Let's see, older star whose popularity is waning, looking to reignite her career - who does this remind you of?

Adam Lambert - Adam has shown he knows how to mentor contestants and evaluate their performances. He's got an active fan base who are a bit outside the normal "Idol" fare of teenage girls looking for the next Justin Bieber, so he could definitely bring in some new viewers. However he doesn't have the kind of superstar power needed to attract mass quantities of new viewers. He could be a good choice for "Idol" as long as they get a big name to fill the other judges' seat.

Miley Cyrus - this would be a case of playing to your base, however, I'm not sure how effective she would be at attracting new fans to the show. Also Miley didn't stand out during her time as a guest mentor as someone who could offer valuable insight and advice. She's kind of young and inexperienced to be a judge. It might be better to have her guest judge or mentor a few more times before giving her a permanent seat at the table.

Charlie Sheen - didn't they already try this with Ellen? I'm sure he would be amusing, but does he know anything about music? Sure, he played a songwriter on "Two and a Half Men," but that really isn't the same thing.

More From This Contributor:

'American Idol' Mariah, Adam, Miley - Who Will Judge? Plus 3 Guest Mentors Who'd Be Great

Adam Lambert a Great Choice for 'American Idol' Judge - Other Alum with Potential for the Job!

'American Idol' Best and Worst Judges Song Picks

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