'The X Factor': Who Should Replace Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul?
'The X Factor': Who Should Replace Steve Jones, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul?
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Last night, while much of the world lay sleeping, Simon Cowell went all Henry VIII on The X Factor USA, leaving three vacant spots where, just months ago, three vacant people once stood.

First to go was host Steve Jones, whose bumbling Welshness Simon deemed too competitive with his own overpowering Britishness. A sad but not unexpected loss, as Jones had trouble both speaking and reading -- two rather important elements of hosting. I'll miss his handsomeness most of all.

Then FOX announced that Nicole Scherzinger had "voluntarily" left her judging spot to focus on her music career. X Factor took a lot more of her time than she expected, reports said. Yes, brainstorming so many different ways to make every judging comment about herself must have been very time-consuming.

And then, the most tragic loss of all: Paula Abdul, America's Incoherent Pop Idol Princess, got the axe. After all she and Simon have been through! After all her ups and downs and sideways on American Idol with him, and now this? It's not her fault that he gave her the hopeless GROUPS to deal with!

Shielded by his piles of money, only L.A. Reid was spared by Simon, and the rest have officially been Dunkleman'd. It's very sad. But now it's time to move on and think ahead: Who should replace them on The X Factor USA season 2?

I've got some ideas! And some of them are even real. Here's the first one:

Host: Rachel Crow
Female Judge #1: Mariah Carey
Female Judge #2: Pink

Rachel might be a little too young for such a big job, but damn if she wouldn't be the cutest thing. And it would be the ultimate Sherzinger revenge! Meanwhile, Mariah could occupy the essential "legendary loon" spot next to Simon, while Pink would be badass enough to stand up to Simon, but commercial enough to shill that Pepsi. It's a delicate balance.

Or how about:

Host: Courtney Stodden
Female Judge #1: Celine Dion
Female Judge #2: Britney Spears

This is what we call a "dream casting." And The X Factor taught me to always go for my dream. PLEASE, SIMON? Give me this one!

Or this could be fun:

Host: Sanjaya
Female Judge #1: Jennifer Hudson
Female Judge #2: Jordin Sparks

IT'S NOT AMERICAN IDOL! It's THE X FACTOR! Why don't people get that? Is it Simon's fault if he just wants to be surrounded by all his old pals?

One last brainstorm! The more you think about it, the more this one sounds perfect:

Female Judge #1: Justin Timberlake
Female Judge #2: Nicki Minaj

So much flavor! Could America even handle it?

Those are my ideas. We'll have to wait and see which one Simon chooses. (I hope it's the second or the last one.) Until then: Who do you think should be the new host and lady judges on The X Factor?

(Image courtesy of FOX)