Who will be the next Simon Cowell?
At the end of last week, as American Idol crowned another new winner, his name didn't matter at all.
What mattered was the fact that the black-wearing, scornbearing Simon Cowell -- the brilliant man making Pop Idol, American Idol, X Factor and a slew of moneyspinning talent shows which have nothing to do with talent -- was calling it a day.
Surely the brutal billionaire will be back on television soon enough, but things won't be the same at American Idol.
The show has been begging for a significant revamp for a while now, and now, with Cowell leaving, there isn't an option anymore.
So Cowell, the man who made a brand out of his unpopularity, is out of American Idol.
Here's a look at a few contenders for the throne of disdain. Read on to know...
Image: Simon Cowell
Photographs: Mario Anzouni/ Reuters
He's brash, full of himself, motormouthed and clearly arrogant enough to deny wannabe superstars their spotlight.
Sean P Diddy Combs, the superstar rapper and fashion designer who is apparently now calling himself Ciroc Obama after the vodka he endorses, is said to be in line for the cruel seat.
He's sharp and rude all right, but what this man lacks is Cowell's dry, ruthless wit. Just being cruel isn't clever.
Image: Sean P Diddy Combs
Photographs: Steve Marcus/ Reuters
He might not be hailed for his scruples, but Mottola has quite the resume for the judge position -- he started off as a musician, playing guitar; also worked as an actor; became an artist manager, then manager of CBS records; and then, as president of Sony Music US, became one of the most powerful music men in America.
The one thing against Mariah Carey's ex-husband? Well, Idol isn't really about music, is it now?
Image: Tommy Mottola
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/ Reuters
They've tried all kinds on Idol, from disappointingly banal lesbian Ellen Degeneres to drunk and giggly Paula Abdul, and so perhaps its time to give Sir Elton John, the biggest Queen in show business, his turn at the microphone.
Nobody can deny the legend his place, and John has never been known to mince his words. The outspoken superstar might be just what the show is looking for, and more.
Image: Elton John
Photographs: Gus Ruelas/ Reuters
The king of controversy isn't as sharp as he used to be.
Howard Stern, star of his own radio show and one of the most foulmouthed men in America, has seen his edge dulled over the last few years.
His show's edge has been compromised by smarter content on the Internet, and his profanity isn't as shocking anymore.
Still, if he calls a teenage folk singer a bleep bleepity bleep and reduces her to tears, there'll be edge aplenty.
Image: Howard Stern
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
He's won an Oscar, he's won a Grammy, so what else is there? Foxx has been a popular Idol mentor, working with young kids both last season and this one.
He's a fine singer and a very talented stage performer, and visibly has the chops the job needs. But is he going to be that mean? Then again, it is just another role.
Image: Jamie Foxx
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Speaking of mean, make way, make way. Nobody does provocative quite like Madonna, and the icon needs yet another reincarnation to stay fresh.
She's bitter, wild, unashamedly smug and knows exactly what she's talking about -- except when it comes to choosing movies to act in. Still, Madge is pretty ready for Idol, it seems -- she's even been working on a bizarre British accent.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters