Tobey Maguire? Kanye West? Five More Suggestions For Simon Cowell’s Replacement

“American Idol” kicks off its ninth season tonight, so MTV News will be covering the world’s favorite singing show from all angles through the finale. Coming into this run of shows, the most intriguing storyline was going to be how new judge Ellen DeGeneres fits into the “Idol” dynamic, especially considering the absence of original judge Paula Abdul. However, the events of the past 24 hours have completely shifted the focus from DeGeneres (and the contestants) squarely onto Simon Cowell.

Since this will be Cowell’s final season behind the “Idol” judges’ desk (he’ll take off to produce an American version of the British hit “The X Factor” that will premiere in 2011), the question on everybody’s lips will be “Who will replace Simon?” We threw some ideas out there yesterday, and the Internet is abuzz with myriad suggestions on who will be the new “Idol” judge when the tenth season rolls around.

There are a handful of people who have suddenly become available or may be looking for new opportunities in their careers. Mark McGwire will be going to work as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, but maybe a stint on the biggest TV show in the country would help resuscitate his image. Kanye West remains pretty quiet, though his dynamic, opinionated personality would certainly bring the same sort of edge to the proceedings. (Plus, he’d never hesitate to interrupt a terrible audition.) As we suggested yesterday, Conan O’Brien may want to hold out for a package deal from Fox. And though we don’t yet know what Tobey Maguire’s next move is now that he’s out as “Spider-Man,” maybe he can take his web-slinging ways to the “Idol” stage. It would probably look something like this.

Of course, the MTV Newsroom team endorses our own Jim Cantiello for the gig. After all, nobody knows “Idol” as well as he does — perhaps not even as well as Cowell himself. Click here for the complete gallery of Simon Cowell replacement suggestions, including Conan O’Brien and Kanye West!

What do you think? Who should replace Simon Cowell as the lead judge on “American Idol”? Leave your thoughts in the comments!