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The latest to throw her name into the American Idol judging ring is former contestant and third-place finalist from Season 2, Kimberley Locke. It’s a list of possibilities that grows all the time, and she’s not the only former contestant on it. Does Locke have a chance of landing that coveted open seat, considering the other names being thrown around?

Locke says she “would love to sit in that chair,” according to THR, but there’s another former Idol contestant who may have the edge on her -- assuming the show even goes down that path. Adam Lambert was previously reported to be in talks for the spot vacated by Steven Tyler. He’s a stronger possibility, in my opinion, not just because he’s male (and they do seem to be leaning towards another male for the seat) but also because he’s made more headlines than Locke recently and he also appeared on a more recent season, keeping him fresh in viewer’s minds.

Of course, there’s also Aretha Franklin, who reportedly showed interest in the spot, and country singer Brad Paisley on the list of possible judges. Either of those two carries more clout in the music industry than Locke and Lambert combined.

A former Idol contestant would be an interesting choice, and it would add a very different perspective to the show. Not only that, but with the show reportedly looking to tighten the budget, it’s likely that any former contestant would come with a smaller paycheck than a major star like Aretha Franklin. Now that Mariah Carey is locked in with a hefty paycheck, the show’s producers could be looking to save money on the other judging spot. On the other hand, Idol needs to stop a ratings slide, and a big name would help do that. The decision can’t be too far off now; I’m betting we’ll hear something more concrete soon.

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