Would You Watch Aretha Franklin as a Judge on 'American Idol'? Plus Other Stars in the Running

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Aretha Franklin gets maximum "Respect." The veteran singer is, after all, known as the Queen of Soul. Before the days of autotune, flashy YouTube videos and wardrobe malfunctions, there was Aretha.

The diva's touch of class may be a welcome addition to the coming season of "American Idol." That's right. ReRe's name has been tossed into the ring as a possible judge for the mega singing competition. The past week saw the show's current musical icons, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, both bid sayonara. There's even talk that Randy Jackson, who has been there since the beginning, may also walk. Say it ain't so, dawg!

The "Idol" chaos comes at a critical time for the program. For many years, the feel-good show with heartfelt moments was the only music industry game in TV town. Simon Cowell and his trademark scowl were king and viewers couldn't wait to see what wacky things Paula Abdul might do next. Then came the interesting era of Kara Dioguardi. By the time Cowell announced that he was leaving the show that made him an American household name, the FOX folks had to take drastic measures.

The era of the megastar judges was born.

"American Idol" now has competition from fun and fresh musical competition shows such as "The Voice," "Duets" and of course, Simon Cowell's "X Factor." When Britney Spears joined Simon's newest team, she reportedly said that she had to make more than J-Lo's "Idol" deal. The exits of La Lopez and uber rocker Tyler leave big -- and expensive -- shoes to fill.

Can Aretha hold her own as a judge, give useful and entertaining commentary plus keep the "A.I." brand going strong? Fans say, heck yeah! This morning on ABC's "The View" the ladies discussed Aretha on "Idol" at the "Hot Topics" table. Whoopi Goldberg said that Franklin has the goods, the talent and outspoken nature to give straight talk to the aspiring singers. The ladies of "The View" didn't think that the R&B Queen would be too old for "Idol" at all. The co-hosts all said they'd watch.

So besides Ms. Franklin, what other names are being bandied about? Prospective "Idol" judges who are being discussed today include a wide range of talent from Mariah Carey to Charlie Sheen and Miley Cyrus. Fans of Mariah shouldn't get too excited though. Mr. Mariah himself, the talented Nick Cannon, doubts that "Idol" can afford his wife.

What do you think of Aretha being a judge on "Idol"? Is the diva too old?

Are you Team Aretha, Team Mariah, Team Miley or all of the above?

Either way, we'll be watching. Sound off!

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