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October 6, 2015

Is Chris Isaak Replacing Simon Cowell on 'American Idol'?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 21st 2010 7:45AM
The race to be the next Simon Cowell on 'American Idol' is heating up, and singer Chris Isaak is reportedly one of the front-runners. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox is determined to replace Cowell with a well-known music industry figure, and that Isaak has met with the network twice.

Auditions for the tenth season of the smash hit show have already started with Cowell's fellow judges -- Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres and Randy Jackson -- still on board. Speculation's been rife as to who will replace Cowell since he announced he was leaving the show, and Fox execs are reported to have met with a number of celebrities to discuss the job.

Names previously linked with the vacant seat at judges' table include Sean Combs and Quincy Jones, former judge Paula Abdul and, as a surprise late entry, Cowell's fellow Brit, Piers Morgan. Even Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring but may be too busy with his duties on 'The Apprentice' franchise for NBC.

Now all eyes are on Isaak after Peter Rice, new entertainment chairman at Fox, said that he expects the new judge to be out on the auditions roadshow in early September.

Since it debuted in 2002 'American Idol' has consistently been one of the top shows on U.S. television, and a large part of its success has been attributed to Cowell. However, ratings have been falling in recent years and it's believed that hiring a new judge will be just one of a slew of changes in the upcoming season. The age limit for contenders has already been lowered from 16 to 15.

Cowell's now concentrating on bringing his rival talent show, 'The X Factor,' to the U.S. following its huge success in the U.K. He's also seeking judges, which puts him on a collision course with 'Idol' executive producer Simon Fuller who could be chasing the same talent, but for an earlier start date.

Rocker Bret Michaels lobbied for the 'Idol' job, telling Joy Behar, "I would love to do it, I would really bring it to the table," but sources close to the show say he's out of the running. Crooner Harry Connick, Jr. has also recently been linked with the role.

Although Chris Isaak's still best-known for his 1989 mega-hit 'Wicked Game,' over the years he's quietly notched up a long roster of appearances in TV shows and movies and has been a frequent talk-show guest. He also starred in 'The Chris Isaak Show,' which ran for three seasons on Showtime, and hosts 'The Chris Isaak Hour' on The Biography Channel.

The tenth season of 'American Idol' is due to premiere on Fox in January 2011.

'The X Factor' is slated to debut on Fox in September 2011.


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All you people who have never heard of Chris Isaak must be under 30. He was big in the 90's mainly, and had the pleasure of meeting him many times during my radio industry days. I even named a cat Isaak after him once.

I see this as an out of the box selection, but thinking more about it, the more I like this idea.

First off, Chris is an immensely talented singer and musician. He's funny and sarcastic as hell and could bring a lot of the same characteristics Harry Connick, Jr would bring. I like this idea! Again, no one knew the hell Simon was in Season One. Don't diss the pick, unless you know the guy for crying out loud.

For those who've never heard a song other than Wicked Game ... go check out Itunes. He's got a lot of great tunes, although Forever Blue remains my favorite album.

July 23 2010 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who is he????
I think American Idol is going down the tubes. Last season wasn't great without Paula, and now, Simon. The two most viewed judges are now gone, and so will be the show.

July 22 2010 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You mean Dave Navarro's name hasn't come up yet ? Geesh !

July 21 2010 at 8:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Ott

Chris Issac? No, IIIIIIII don't think he'll be a

July 21 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

give me
bret Michaels. The show was super boring this past season. I would watch next year with Bret

July 21 2010 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to krktoday's comment

Bret Michaels should replace Elen for starters. Then they should find a female judge to replace Simon

July 23 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you kidding me??? The "black" guy (Randy Jackson) is more experienced than the "white" girls...anyday! Randy is a musician first then a producer (Journey remember?).

As far as a replacement for Simon...NOOOOOO for Chris Isaak! I have to admit with the recent enlightenment of Bret Michaels regain fame, I was voting for him, but as an afterthought...not my choice either. Not the Donald either, he is always asking his "aides" for their thoughts on things, not sure if he is well qualified. Yes, I said that. Look at Celebrity Apprentice and the pageant shows...he has aides and judges. The Donald waves his money and people jump! (I know he has a great empire of assets but please....the decision making for someone else's career...is always up to aides/judges not him.) Piers Morgan is a great candidate but he has too much on his plate.

Quincy Jones or Lionel Richie are my choices.

I think that Idol needs someone who is very afirmative, very strong on their suggestions and decision making because the others have soft hearts.

July 21 2010 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Never heard of Chris Issak. Followed Connick Jr. for years.

July 21 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No kidding, who took Bret Micheals out of the running? YOUR FIRED

July 21 2010 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I vote for Bret. I am almost not a fan of AI anymore. Last year sucked. Simon tried his best to make the show boring because it is competition for his show this year and Simon suceeded. The show was boring. I missed Paula a lot. Now with Simon gone the knew judge will make or break this show and I for one won't tune in for episode 1 with this guy. I have watched this show from the very beginning.

July 21 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why don't they really liven it up and put Kid Rock in there? Now that would surely make it interesting!

July 21 2010 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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