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Ellen DeGeneres: I'll have a say in Simon Cowell's 'American Idol' replacement

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/08/2010 

Ellen DeGeneres doesn't know who's going to succeed Simon Cowell on American Idol's judging panel, however she claims she'll at least be a part of the process that picks his replacement.

"I'm a part of the next person coming in, and I've had talks with [American Idol creator] Simon Fuller and a few people over at Fox," DeGeneres told TV Guide in the magazine's March 8 issue.

"We have people that we're thinking about, and we want it to be a really exciting name and someone who would add something different to the panel."

Although Fox tapped DeGeneres to replace Paula Abdul months before Cowell inked a deal with Fox in January that will have him leaving American Idol after its currently-airing ninth season, she said his eventual replacement was discussed at the time.

"That was part of [what was discussed] when I came in because we all had suspicion that Simon might leave," DeGeneres told TV Guide.

"Nobody knew for sure, but we made sure that I'd have a big [say], because that's important to me."

Speculation as to who will replace Cowell has been a hot topic since his impending departure was announced, and it was reported last month that American Idol had approached shock jock Howard Stern after hearing his repeated on-air mentions that he's "open to other offers" once his Sirius XM Radio deal expires next year.

DeGeneres echoed two American Idol insiders who previously denied the report.

"No one knows where that came from," she told TV Guide. "There was a Tommy Mottola rumor, too, and that was completely false."

One rumored replacement that DeGeneres wouldn't be completely opposed to is Madonna's manager Guy Oseary.

"Guy is a friend of mine, and I think Guy would be great," she told TV Guide.

"I just don't know if that's a name that... we want to be really careful. I don't know that we're gonna be able to announce anybody real soon."

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