(Getty Images)more pics »
With Simon Cowell
's exit from American Idol
fast approaching, the search is heating up for his replacement. And while there's no denying that British singer Elton John
would make the next season of Idol
a must-watch event, the word is he's turned down a $33 million offer to join the show's panel of judges. Former 'Idol' contestant Jennifer Hudson with Elton John at his Oscar party. (Getty Images)
Access Hollywood reports
that Elton, who was a guest judge on Idol
during its third season, has turned down the offer, but there's no word on why he's not interested. It could be the money. Cowell is said to be earning more than $50 million per year for American Idol
, so maybe the show's producers better plan on at least matching that salary if they want to bring in someone with Elton John's star power.
With Elton out of the running, the word is producers are looking to the show's pool of mentors for a new judge. Recent mentors Harry Connick, Jr.
and Jamie Foxx
have both been mentioned as potential replacements.Idol
judges have a notoriously tough schedule. Filming a season of the show not only involves being on hand in Hollywood, but also traveling the country to dig for talent during marathon audition sessions. The show requires judges to take about five months out of a year, preventing many from working on movies, television shows or even music in that time.In Photos: Elton John