Idol Speculation: Past Contestants Returning To American Idol As Judges?

(Radio.com) In the latest round of singing competition shakeups, it's being reported that Jennifer Hudson could become one of the judges on American Idol next season. Hudson would become the first Idol alum to take a seat on the panel of judges, a marked difference from the show's recent push for superstar recording artists with little-to-no prior affiliation with the competition.

Hudson isn't the only one, though. Amid talks of her potential return to the show, rumors have it that the panel could be comprised of more former Idol hopefuls, creating an all-star reunion of talent while the show retools itself following a season of disappointing ratings.

Whether or not bringing back familiar faces to critique talent will save the show's free-falling ratings is certainly up for deliberation, but with the right combination of judges, mixed with an intriguing retooling of the show in other departments, could prove beneficial for Idol in the long run. Here's a few other former Idols that could assist in that process.

Adam Lambert: One of the rumored possibilities to be hired as a judge, Adam Lambert, is one of the show's more popular recent contestants, and one with an undeniable grasp of singing and performing on multiple levels. Lambert would certainly be able to pinpoint and pick out the musical aspects of a contestant's performance and appeal, but he was known during his tenure in the competition for being able to reinvent and retool the songs he was singing for his own purpose and vision. If the show was like The X-Factor in that the judges were also mentors, that would be a perfect line for Lambert, who could also assist in the creative process as well as the singing. Still, from the Idol booth he could certainly give out some interesting advice in that realm, highlighting each contestant's strengths to best accentuate the showman side of their performances, as that has always been his specialty.

Clay Aiken: I wouldn't have been sure about this until I saw Clay Aiken's role as a judge on an a cappella singing competition on the penultimate episode of The Office this year. Aiken would have the right blend of humor and perspective to the show, plus given his standing as a fan favorite despite having been on the show over a decade ago, he could become one of the show's more celebrated judges. I could see him being a Keith Urban type, one who always dispenses great technical advice but is also up there clearly enjoying each performance as well. You know, having a lot of fun doing one's job. More here.

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