After rumors that Jennifer Lopez may not return for a third season, "American Idol" hopefuls in Newark, New Jersey, were abuzz over the weekend with the one question nobody could answer: Will Lopez be back? And it was not just the "Idol" hopefuls in the dark; host Ryan Seacrest was not able to shine any light on the subject matter either.
"I haven't heard anything about that officially," Seacrest told MTV News on Saturday. "I will probably find out a minute before anyone else."
And now that "X-Factor" has pulled out the big guns, i.e. Britney Spears, how will the television series compete if J.Lo leaves?
"I don't think we look at them as competitive shows," Seacrest replied. "They're more companion shows, to be honest."
But 22-year-old hopeful Bernadette Shallow couldn't agree less, saying "X Factor" is fierce competition. And in order to compete without Lopez, Shallow says "American Idol" would have to find a knockout replacement. Her suggestion? None other than Queen B.
"With 'X-Factor' bringing on Britney Spears as a celebrity judge, I think if 'American Idol' brought Beyoncê in that would be an amazing replacement," Shallow told MTV News.
While most of the contestants were holding out hope Lopez that would come back for season 12, several cast their ballot for who they would want to fill her seat.
"I think if anybody was to replace J.Lo it should be somebody fresh, somebody younger," 21-year-old Rob Cahill said. "Somebody fresh with a little more pop scene, like Rihanna or Adele."
"Lady Gaga is one of the biggest things out there and she's really fierce," proposed 19-year-old Shauwl Germelus. "She come comes up with new things every day, and for her to be on the panel would just be an enlightenment for everybody."
And even though a majority of the suggested alternates were female, Geannaro Bailo is crossing his fingers for an all-male panel.
"I say Ne-Yo only because that's one of my favorite artists," said 20-year-old Bailo. "He could bring more [of] his style and like what he wants to do."
Who do you think could replace J.Lo on the "American Idol" judges' panel? Let us know in the comments!
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' [article id="1486475"]"American Idol" page[/article], where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.