When Simon Cowell splits from American Idol at the end of this season to launch a U.S.-based X Factor in 2011, he’ll leave some pretty low-cut shirts to fill. But because new judge Ellen DeGeneres and Simon already hate each other, apparently, she’s pushing Fox to choose his replacement ASAP. Vulture buddy Nikki Finke reports that Cowell showed up late to his first Hollywood Week taping with DeGeneres, causing her to spew expletives and strangle a puppy (presumably). Actually, she just called her bosses at Fox and pressed them to pull the trigger on naming Simon’s successor.
Allegedly under consideration: former Sony Music chairman, ex-husband of Mariah Carey, and all-around devil, Tommy Mottola; Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary; and cap-wearing, Eminem-discovering Interscope Records founder Jimmy Iovine. Mottola is also a top choice to join Cowell on X Factor, says Finke, so he might be out. If we had to guess, we’d say they’ll go with Iovine, whose apparent shame over his presumable baldness means Fox could totally sell advertising on his hats.