Cowell is leaving the popular talent show at the end of the current season.just as new judge Ellen DeGeneres joins as a judge. DeGeneres made a reference to that fact last night when she made her debut during Hollywood week on "Idol." Turning to Cowell, she said, "I come on, you leave." It was the only small flash of potential conflict between the two judges many had long been waiting to see how they would get along.
As expected, DeGeneres brought humor to her sometimes blunt critiques of the contestants. DeGeneres has promised to judge from the perspective of a longtime fan of the show.
It's less clear how Stern would judge if he were to be named Cowell's replacement. Stern was rumored as a possible replacement by the New York Post last week, and earlier this week, he told his satellite radio listeners that he would consider taking the job.
"There's not a better job on the planet than judging that f---ing karaoke contest," he said, paying the show a backhanded compliment on his Sirius radio show Monday.
But industry watchers say it's not even clear whether Fox has actually reached out to the radio shock jock. Michael Slezak, a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, told ABCNews.com that his show sources say the search process for Cowell's replacement has only just begun and that there are likely to be many names floated in the coming months.
Whether Stern has thrown his name in the hat or Fox has reached out to him, many have thoughts on the kind of judge Stern would be.
"I feel like there's not enough delay on a live show to handle Howard Stern," Melinda Doolittle, who finished third on the sixth season of "Idol," told ABCNews.com.
"The thing about Simon, even though he was biting, at least you could respect him for his position in the business," Doolittle said. "I don't even know what Howard Stern would say about the music. I'm assuming he would be more a person to critique how contestants look."
"I think his main goal would be to bring contestants down," Ayla Brown told ABCNews.com. Daughter of new Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, she placed in the top 16 of the show's fifth season.
"I don't think he has much credibility," she said. "Contestants wouldn't take him seriously."