With both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler saying goodbye to American Idol last week, we’re rounding up the rumored candidates who are competing to fill their shoes.

Over the last few seasons we’ve seen some major shakeups in the reality show’s judging department. Paula Abdul said goodbye in 2009. After eight seasons, Simon Cowell called it quits. Kara DioGuardi’s contract was not renewed after two years—2009 and 2010—forcing her to leave. And don’t forget Ellen DeGeneres, who ended ties after only one season in 2010.

Now with J.Lo leaving to make more movies and Steven Tyler deciding it’s time for him to let go of his mistress American Idol before she “boils his rabbit” (whatever that means) we look at some possible contenders for a place alongside Idol lifer, Randy Jackson, who also might be looking to get out of judging, according to reports.

  • Adam Lambert: One of the first names in the running after rumors of J.Lo leaving started swirling. The Idol runner-up might be the perfect choice for the job since he knows the ropes and has a clear fanbase.
  • Mariah Carey: She is reportedly in “serious talks” with the show according to People. The singer’s even worked with Randy throughout her career, which might make her feel right at home.
  • Charlie Sheen: Though this one seems like it was totally made up, American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said Sheen might be a good fit. Though some think it might have originally started out as a joke, Sheen is taking it seriously, saying if the producers of his new FX series Anger Management sign off and Idol agrees to meet his salary demands he’d be willing to talk.
  • Jerry Lewis: Most likely this one is really a joke. Lythgoe has said he’d like to see the 86-year-old funny man become a judge, but Lewis has already expressed his dislike of the reality show. “The kids they get on American Idol, they’re all McDonalds’ wipeouts,” he told Access Hollywood. “They all worked there and now they’re doing that.”
  • Aretha Franklin: In an email to CNN, the singer announced she’d like to be considered for the job. And she’s apparently looking to get her friend, Patti LaBelle in on the action as her sidekick. Could this pick kill two birds with one stone and solve all the show’s problems?

In a poll last week, CBS Local asked fans who they would like to see become a judge. Mariah Carey came in first with 32% of the votes. Charlie Sheen also did surprisingly well, with 18%. Paula Abdul (again) and Adam Lambert tied for fan’s affections with 14%.

And a lot of Idol fans had their own ideas of who should become a judge on the show with Katy Perry leading the pack of suggestions. Even though the singer has appeared on AI before, offering her opinions during the show’s audition rounds, she seems like an unlikely candidate. “People have reached out to me about the possibility of being involved,” she recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “And it’s not right for me yet.”

Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake also topped the list of who fans want to see next season. Even Chuck Norris got a nod for the position.

Who do you think deserves a seat at the judging table?

Shannon Carlin, CBS Local

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