17 Stars We Want as Judges on ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Reboot

American Idol

17 Stars We Want as Judges on ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Reboot

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17 Stars We Want as Judges on ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Reboot

It’s official: American Idol is coming back!

ABC announced on May 9 they’re rebooting the long-running competition series one year after it concluded its 15-year run on FOX. Though it’s still a ways off, Ryan Seacrest is pretty much a lock for the hosting gig, considering his recent move to the network as Live! co-host.

Less set in stone is the judges panel, which is said to be getting a major makeover. And we agree with former Idol associate musical director Michael Orland that past contestants like Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert would make great additions to the panel.

However, we’ve got a mix of Idol alums and chart toppers who would be perfect to fill those three or four seats. Scroll through for our top 17 picks!

17 Stars We Want as Judges on ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Reboot
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Kelly Clarkson

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Kelly Clarkson

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We hear producers are gunning for this one, and it makes a lot of sense. Not only was she first winner in the franchise, she’s one of the most successful.

An added bonus? Kelly already served as a judge on ABC’s short-lived singing competition Duets back in 2012 and nailed it. 

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Camila Cabello

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Camila Cabello

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Not only will this give the former Fifth Harmony singer a chance to shine on her own as a solo artist, but the 20-year-old can also speak from experience having got her big break on X Factor

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Chris Daughtry

Chris Daughtry

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The “Crawling Back to You” singer has proven to be a great mentor on recent seasons of Idol. He can show aspiring musicians how to gain rocker cred coming off a reality show.

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Christina Aguilera

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Christina Aguilera

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We've missed Christina on The Voice, and she'd bring that pop diva factor so many contestants are looking for. Think of the possible performances!

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Simon Cowell

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Simon Cowell

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What better way to reel back in fans of the FOX franchise than with the original tell-it-like-it-is panelist? Say what you will about Simon, but he’s good TV and he knows talent. His U.S. television hiatus has gone on long enough.

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Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul

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Hear us out on this one. If we’re bringing back Simon, we need the light-hearted (and entertainingly bizarre) antics of Paula to even things out — their chemistry is undeniable!

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Katharine McPhee

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Katharine McPhee

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Though the Scorpion star is more focused on her acting career these days, she not only had a successful run on the show, but is also the daughter of a voice coach. Girlfriend can identify good pitch and tone better than anyone.

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Tori Kelly

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Tori Kelly

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Though she’s one of the best voices in the pop game today, Tori is still circling the superstardom she so deserves. This could not only bring her household name status, but it’ll also be vindication after she didn’t make it through her own Idol audition back in 2010.

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Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert

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Another rocker with clout from the franchise — he’s the lead singer for Queen, guys! — Adam has been one of the most generous alums, returning multiple times to impart his wisdom on contestants. Let’s keep this going!

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Harry Styles

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Harry Styles

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Really any of the One Direction guys would be great due to their X Factor UK background, but in an ideal world, we’d get the always charismatic Harry. It would be the perfect place for him to promote his new solo career!

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Fantasia

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Fantasia

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Fantasia is one of those Idol winners who has the industry cred, but hasn’t had the mainstream success of Kelly or Carrie. This is her opportunity — and we need those golden pipes back on TV!

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Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis

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Another diva from a competition series, the X Factor UK winner is TV-ready with her stunning looks and sweet personality. It also gives her a chance to crack the U.S. charts again, 10 years after her breakout hit, “Bleeding Love.”

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Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood

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With the number of aspiring country stars the show gets, a name like Carrie brings instant weight to the game. She can also speak to the ever-changing state of the genre these days, with crossover acts like Taylor Swift and Chris Stapleton topping the charts.

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Hillary Scott

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Hillary Scott

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Did you know the Lady Antebellum frontwoman auditioned for the original Idol twice?! Though she never made it past the preliminary rounds, she did end up in a Grammy-winning band. Bonus: She was a great mentor alongside Adam Levine on The Voice Season 4.

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Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

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The ABC execs would have to somehow pull her away from The Voice UK, but we think Jennifer might do it for her alma mater. Also, her coaching skills are all warmed up for all of those other aspiring powerhouse divas.

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Miranda Lambert

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Miranda Lambert

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Many people forget that Miranda got her start as a third-place finalist on the USA reality show Nashville Star. It’s a great background for a judge, not to mention, we’d secretly love how it adds to The Voice rivalry, thanks to her ex-husband, Blake Shelton.

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Jordin Sparks

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Jordin Sparks

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Jordin is still only 27 years old, and has proven to work great with other young singers on the show. She’s just so damn likeable on-screen, too!

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It’s official: American Idol is coming back!

ABC announced on May 9 they’re rebooting the long-running competition series one year after it concluded its 15-year run on FOX. Though it’s still a ways off, Ryan Seacrest is pretty much a lock for the hosting gig, considering his recent move to the network as Live! co-host.

Less set in stone is the judges panel, which is said to be getting a major makeover. And we agree with former Idol associate musical director Michael Orland that past contestants like Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert would make great additions to the panel.

However, we’ve got a mix of Idol alums and chart toppers who would be perfect to fill those three or four seats. Scroll through for our top 17 picks!