The Telefile
<i>The X Factor</i>: Reality TV Judges Who Could Replace Paula and Nicole

Clearly, hiring music industry professionals was of no help to The X Factor, as demonstrated by the recent axing of judge/mentors Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger (as well as host Steve Jones). Who should replace them? We suggest that Simon Cowell look to already successful reality TV judges -- regardless of whether or not they have experience critiquing singers. While some of these personalities might seem like an odd fit, each one of them would be more fun to watch than the former Laker Girl and Pussycat Doll:

Zach Woodlee
He's a choreographer for Glee, so he'd be able to make the contestants look good without giving them over-the-top, tacky backup dancers. And he was sensitive, yet critical on The Glee Project (not to mention adorable), so he wouldn't break down and cry like a jerk like Nicole did.

China Chow
We've seen that she's smart and insightful in her criticisms on Work of Art, and Fox could save some cash by letting her do double duty and host X Factor, too.

Michael Kors
We need someone with a bitchy attitude to get right to the point. Also, music and fashion go hand in hand... at least that's what all of those VH1 runway shows would lead us to believe. And he could definitely hold his own in a fight with L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell.

Hugh Acheson
The occasional Top Chef judge pulls no punches and while he may not know the first thing about music, another honest and outspoken mentor is just what this show needs. And, as we've seen on Top Chef Masters, he's definitely competitive.

Dave Navarro
The current Ink Master host already proved that he could offer music critiques on the late, great Rock Star series. He's a little reserved, but knows his craft and could bring some much-needed edge to this desperately generic show.

Buddy Valastro
The Cake Boss star would pull in the mom audience and definitely boost ratings. And after watching Next Great Baker, we've learned that he isn't afraid to vocalize his opinions. We'd just hope that that Hoboken native doesn't only pick Sinatra clones.

Ivanka Trump
We're sick of The Donald, but we'd be open to seeing more of Ivanka out on her own, especially if she didn't have to bite her tongue and nod sycophantically in agreement with her father. She's tough and would whip future stars into shape. Or else.

Shawn Stockman
This Boyz II Men crooner and his fellow Sing Off judge Ben Folds would each have been better choices for The X Factor than their former co-judge Nicole Scherzinger in the first place. Stockman has a verbose way with words, and when he's excited about a performance, he's not afraid to show it. He'd be a more restrained and eloquent Paula and he'd excel mentoring the groups as he's actually been in one.

Adam Shankman
The sometimes So You Think You Can Dance judge is also a director and producer of big Hollywood hits. He knows what the masses want (more Step Up, anyone?) and he's fun to watch doling out critiques in his hyper, yet adorable, way.

Sharon Osbourne
If she can listen to hours of America's Got Talent auditions and live to tell the tale, X Factor would be a cakewalk for her. Oh, and there's the little fact of how she helped Ozzy Osbourne become a household name. So, you could sort of say she's got experience. [Plus, as a reader noted in the comments below, she was a judge on the original British version of X Factor.]

Len Goodman
The old fuddy duddy from Dancing With the Stars wouldn't know what to do with the likes of Astro, but give him the over-30s and he'd probably have a decent shot.

As for who should fill Jones' shoes as host, we'd go with Cat Deeley. She's a more charming (and more attractive) Brit, who is already employed by Fox and whose So You Think You Can Dance doesn't conflict with X Factor's fall airtime. She could deftly handle both gigs, and just think of the awesome outfits she'd sport!

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