Rumors has it that Simon Cowell is courting Janet Jackson and Britney Spears to replace recently-fired judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger on The X Factor. Cowell won’t confirm or deny, but why wait for his word?
Here’s a list of ten people who we’d much rather watch judge a singing competition anyway. Listen to all of them on this Spotify playlist of our X Factor Fantasy Judges.
10. Mandy Moore. Not only does she know Top 40 pop from personal experience, but she’s married to alt-country god Ryan Adams, so she clearly has a wide taste range.
9. Todd Rundgren. This is the man who helped introduce the world to New York Dolls, Patti Smith, Hall & Oates, and even Meat Loaf. He has an ear for what’s next.
8. Kid Cudi. A hip-hop artist who takes chances, makes hits and runs his own record label is bound to have some real advice for the precious few rappers who come on the show.
7. Rob Halford. The Judas Priest frontman has an operatic wail to shatter glass and far more range than singers of any genre. He’s also the first openly gay metal star, so he knows about taking chances.
6. Flava Flav. Thanks to Vh1 we know he's endlessly watchable on TV. And just like American Idol’s Randy Jackson has one or two catchphrases he leans on instead of actually offering insight, so could Flava Flav be to X Factor. Yeah, BOYYYY!
5. Emily Haines. The uber-talented lead singer of the exhilarating indie band Metric is also a phenomenal songwriter. Plus, it would be good to have one member of Broken Social Scene on network TV.
4. Adam Yauch. The Beastie Boys have incredible taste. Just listen to the range of samples on Paul’s Boutique. Any of them would do, but I’d go with MCA.
3. David Bowie. I know what you’re thinking: He’s TOO legendary for a TV show that runs twice a week. But what else is he doing these days? I’d tune in just to watch Bowie be Bowie.
1. Quentin Tarantino. True, he's a director and not a singer, but the man knows what he's talking about. As you can tell from his impeccable movie soundtracks, he has eclectic taste and an imposing knowledge of music history. This is a guy whose endorsement you could trust.
Would you watch any of the above artists judge a singing competition? What artist would you hire as arbiter of taste on this show?