Well, it's happened. Ms. Paula Abdul has decided to call it a day and leave American Idol. Our worst fears have been realized. Kara LaGuardia (that's what I call her) is staying on. But does that mean we shouldn't fill Abdul's chair? Me thinks not. Here are my suggestions for a new fourth AI judge...all with their own pros and cons, but all worthy successors to Paula's throne. Let's start with...
One good Paula deserves another, right? My favorite lisping pinstriped comic could offer up some great advice ("It all comes down to ssssssong choice!") as well as buckets of Shasta Soda (sure, Coke may have a problem with it, but c'mon!). I'd pay to hear her quip "You're ssssong was a disasta, unlike Grape ssssoda from Sssshasta!"
Finally, someone LESS coherent than Paula Abdul! Camp could offer up...nothing at all useful. But man, he'd be an entertaining VJ-wreck to watch, wouldn't he?
THE WORM FROM TREMORS
You can't tell me you wouldn't have wanted to see one of these come roaring up from beneath the Idol stage when Scott MacIntyre started playing Martina McBride's "Wild Angels" or when Megan Joy warbled Bob Marley's "Turn Your Lights Down Low." It would also help the show run on time.
I know, I know, I'm not supposed to name him, but older snake-faced Tom Riddle would be a serious asset to the American Idol panel. To see him face off with Kevin "Chicken Little" Covais would have been a battle worthy of the Deathly Hallows. Plus, his fashion aesthetic would meld well with Simon Cowell.
She's just off enough to be a worthy follow up to Paula--and Simon would enjoy the boos shifting to her. Contestants who butcher "Son of a Preacher Man" would be met with projectiles like apples and cats.
GLOMER FROM THE PUNKY BREWSTER CARTOON
Now here's my dark horse candidate. Glomer's can-do attitude and limited magical skills could really help contestants like Nikki McKibbon stand a chance on the show. Unfortunately, he probably wouldn't stay on the show very long, as he's pretty preoccupied with trying to get back to his home world.
Sure, he's pretty much just a more-focused Simon Cowell, but I'd love to see him try to boil Justin Guarini in hopes of turning him to gold. His cat Azreal could help mentor the contestants.
FALCOR, THE LUCK DRAGON
Besides the obvious luck he would bring the contestants, Falcor could help whisk young Kris Allen and company around town to do their various contractual publicity. Plus, he may eat Randy Jackson.
THE TIC TAC DOUGH DRAGON
Falcor may be unavailable (as his current story NEVER ENDS), so the TTDD may be able to step in and provide valuable feedback. He's also a reminder of what it feels like to open up an Idol-owned recording contract.
The character, not Audrey. Why, she'd be the most adorable judge ever, coyly smiling and silently grinning at the aspiring singers while her face turns Renee Zellweger red with embarrassment for Carmen Rasmusen. Her English is probably better than Paula's.
SMASH MOUTH'S STEVE HARWELL
He'd be able to offer up advice like "Hey now, R.J. Helton, you're an All-Star. Get your game on. Go. Sing!" Then we'd know exactly where he is every week, which will hopefully keep him out of the recording studio, giving America's ears the rest they so richly deserve.
Red would DEFINITELY get up and dance for each contestant like Paula, and be incredibly energetic the whole program. She'd praise the Adam Lamberts of the competition for their "exploratory spirit." The producers wouldn't have to pay her much--just a handful of Doozer sugar sticks each week (and, judging by the set's flimsiness last season, the Doozers are already around the studio building stuff).
Clue's crazy old matriarch, she'd class up the panel with her mysterious charm. She may also dispatch of Diana DeGarmo, with the lead pipe, in the conservatory.
MAGIC, THE OLD NAVY AD DOG
Performance fleece! Performance fleece! Magic would be ideal on the panel, and finally give Randy a real dog to play off of. Then they can take their act on the road and call it "Magic Jackson." Do I have to think of everything, people?
Whom else should fill in for Paula? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!