'American Idol' Considers Casting More Ex Contestants

'American Idol' Considers Casting More Ex Contestants Adam Lambert may only be the first of several reputable "American Idol" alumni to soon be mentoring a new generation of talent.

Fox's bandied-about downsized "Idol" staff, budget and salaries may make replacing Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez on the primetime hit competition's 12th-season judges panel with equal or greater star power a pipedream. With eighth-season runner-up Adam Lambert reportedly in producers' sights already, RadarOnline reported Friday that the panel could quickly become a full-on reunion.

A confidential production source claims that Fox has reached out to the likes of Taylor Hicks, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken and unnamed "others" to step up in some capacity.

"They wouldn't necessarily be in judging positions, but the show wants them involved," the source claimed.

Host Ryan Seacrest is locked in with lucrative multi-year NBC Universal deal. He and judge Randy Jackson are the only significant remaining alumni who have stuck with "Idol" since the beginning. If Jackson doesn't re-up for the present season - which he hasn't indicated he will - Seacrest could be the sole-surviving key piece of the show's glory days.

Let's look at things this way: any alum mentioned above would certainly be at least much more cost-efffective than the rumored wish list that includes Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Fergie, Will.I.Am and a few others who have publicly said they're interested, such as Charlie Sheen and Aretha Franklin.

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