Quentin TarantinoPardon me if I don't shed a tear that Paula Abdul will not be returning as a judge on the next season of American Idol. As a relentless cheerleader for the contestants, she was beloved, as a foil for the evil Simon Cowell, she was feisty, but her time has come and gone. (And I say that lovingly as a former high school classmate. OK, she never knew I existed, but still...) Producers have already lined up Victoria Beckham as a guest judge, but I think they should look to the fabulous film world for future guest judge-ships.

Here are my quick picks.

  • Kevin Smith. He'd definitely be funny, could snap back at Simon's ferocity, and could dish out insults as needed.
  • Drew Barrymore. She would bring Paula's positive vibe and be very kind when rejecting the talentless.
  • Julie Andrews. The great star of The Sound of Music and The Princess Diaries returns in the The Tooth Fairy next January.
  • Mel Gibson. Don't you want to see the grizzled, suicidal star of The Road Warrior and Lethal Weapon telling no-talents where they can stick their singing voice? His Australian heritage would also set him up for epic battles with Simon Cowell. And Edge of Darkness is scheduled for next January.
  • Jennifer Lopez. The lady has been out of the film spotlight for a while, but will return in The Back-Up Plan. She knows her music, and could rival Randy in telling contestants "yo, dog!"
  • Quentin Tarantino. Bring him back as a judge this time, not just a coach or "guest director."

Who do you want to see sitting on that infamous panel of judges?