The list of former judges on Fox’s The X-Factor reads like the attendance list at a Passages Malibu: Addiction Cure Center for celebrities obsessed with proving their talent (Nicole Scherzinger, 2011; Demi Lovato, 2012), relevancy (Cheryl Cole, 2011; LA. Reid, 2011-12), mental competency (Britney Spears, 2012), or all three (Paula Abdul, 2011). For a show that’s run for scarcely two seasons, that’s quite an accomplishment. Most of the blame (or credit) should probably be given to Simon Cowell, who treats each of the more than 1,000 television shows he produces like his own personal carnival curbed specifically to his sadistic humor.
So with that in mind, here are 10 musicians who have a very good chance at filling one of the two empty X-Factor judge seats next season.
See also: Ten Music Artists Who Are Dead Inside]
A Still-Young Sanjaya Malakar Simon Cowell pulled Paula Abdul out of the American Idol satchel of terrors, so why not Sanjaya Malakar? When the unstable wino Simon chooses to be the other new X-Factor judge pukes on the judges table, it can be mopped up with Sanjaya’s luscious locks. (They’re Sanjaya’s personal X-factor at work.) Also, the last time I saw Sanjaya Malakar was in a small-scale musical about Black Jesus in Seattle, Washington, and I think he may deserve better.
David Grohl David Grohl has never met a topic he wasn’t prepared to talk about. Letting him talk on X-Factor would provide him a space where his criticism is actually desired, AND there’s a strong chance he’d suffer from exhaustion and stop talking for a while.
Lana Del Rey Now that Britney Spears is gone, so is the potential of someone mumbling useless advice and falling asleep on the judges’ table during a live taping. Lana Del Ray is essential. She has the opposite of the X-factor but still manages to have a devoted fan base that hasn’t seen the inherent irony of liking her yet. She’d be perfect.
Drake Drake knows a thing or two about having the X-factor. People all around the world only half-remember that he played a wheelchair-bound kid with sexual dysfunction named Jimmy on a Canadian TV show. His X factor has out-shined everything. Well, his X-factor has out-shined everything besides Chris Brown. In Rihanna’s eyes. But that’s not something that can be tackled on an hour-long Fox show (yet).
Joe Budden Joe Budden is an inspiration to people everywhere who cannot properly pronounce the word “button.” He would also be a total wild card. Just Google. You’ll get excited at the possibility too.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are unlike every other potential X-Factor judge replacement listed above for two reasons: First, they are multiple people. Second, they create amazing music on a daily basis. If Simon Cowell really wanted X-Factor judges who knew how to create beautifully synchronized, soul-altering music, he would be wise to select them. But if Simon Cowell really wanted X-Factor judges who made family get-togethers around the television awkward and confusing for anyone over 40, as people tried explaining to their parents and grandparents who the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are and what’s with their name and why they’re awesome, he would also be wise to select them.
Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake is in everything again. Music! Movies! TV! Jessica Biel! It only makes sense for him to sit behind the X-Factor judges’ table. It would give him the opportunity to show his human side (if he has one), and it would give everyone else the opportunity to watch Justin Timberlake for extended periods of time. Ratings would quadruple from my Hulu account alone.
Miley Cyrus Miley’s been going through a lot lately. She’s radically transformed her appearance, style of music, and is currently working through her relationship with fiancé (?) Liam Hemsworth. She would be the perfect X-Factor judge because she’s an emotional ex-Disney train wreck desperate to prove herself. She is everything Simon Cowell hoped Demi Lovato would bring to the table and more, as Miley’s speaking voice would break every microphone in the room during every episode and everything would need to be reset LIVE over and over and over again and it’d be great to watch.
Riff Raff If Riff Raff isn’t the most insightful musical artist breathing, this whole article is a lie. Not only does Riff Raff drop daily doses of philosophy on Twitter, but James Franco’s character in Spring Breakers was totally based on him (or so he’s convinced most everyone), and if James Franco plays you in a movie you definitely have the X-factor and deserve to judge all of the normal people who claim to have it.
Michael Jackson’s ghost You know you miss Michael Jackson. You know HE really had the X-factor. You know you wish he’d Easter himself and judge people on the X-Factor. You know that’s impossible. You know it’s really problematic to wish for Michael Jackson’s ghost to come judge on the X-Factor instead. You know all of this, but you still hope, because you know he’s more qualified than anybody alive today. One day, friends.