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Elton John Turns Down $33 Million Offer to Replace Simon Cowell on 'American Idol'

8th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's
(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
  • Elton John in Time's 100 Most Influential People In The World Gala
  • Elton John in Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World Gala - Red Carpet
  • Elton John in Celebrities at the Time 100 Gala in New York
  • Elton John in Celebrities at the Time 100 Gala in New York
  • Elton John in Billy Elliot The Musical: Fifth Birthday - Outside Arrivals
  • Elton John in "Next Fall" On Broadway VIP Performance - After Party
  • Elton John in 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party - Inside
  • Elton John in 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party - Arrivals
View Elton John Pictures »
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