Americans love an acerbic Brit who can tell it like it is. Arguably the best part of American Idol’s early years was watching judge Simon Cowell scowl at seemingly tone-deaf contestants as they sang their hearts out. His criticisms, insults, and wisecracks became the reason most people copped to watching the show—sure, hearing a talented vocalist hit a high note was inspiring, but hearing Cowell trash the train-wrecks was even better. But after eight seasons it was Cowell’s turn to exit the stage, as he went on to launch an American version of his popular British show, X Factor. Jennifer Lopez was tapped as his replacement on the judges panel, but no matter how much ‘tude Jenny From the Block brought to the set, Idol has never been the same. In the years since Cowell’s exit, the judges panel has been a rotating musical chairs act, with the only original judge, Randy Jackson, announcing his departure on May 9.
- How Do You Take Over for a Legend?
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- Joe Girardi / Joe Torre
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- George Seifert / Bill Walsh
- Jennifer Lopez / Simon Cowell
- Pope Benedict XVI / Pope John Paul II