Howard Stern, Simon Cowell

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images; Paul Drinkwater/NBCU

Now that Simon Cowell is down to his very last minutes at American Idol, is Howard Stern finally ready to admit he wants to replace the cantankerous judge?

Not exactly…

"I watch it religiously," the shock jock told me at the Sex and the City premiere at New York's Radio City Music Hall. "I believe Crystal Bowersox will win.

"But I don't think the show has been great this season," he continued. "That's why their ratings have dropped a little bit. I think the judges have been a little soft. I think it's time to mix it up, make it a little more exciting again."

If Stern does land the gig, don't expect him to be Simon 2.0. "I like Simon," he said. "I think he's great, but I tend to do more than just break people's hearts about their dreams in singing. I don't think that's my kind of job."

Who does he think is right for the gig? "I would have no idea," he said. "Ellen DeGeneres has proven she's a nice talk-show host, but she doesn't offer anything controversial."

Paula Abdul, on the other hand, "should do something," Stern said. "The world needs her."

And it's getting her. Just hours after we spoke to Stern, CBS announced that the unpredictable makes-for-good-television Abdul will be lead judge on Got to Dance, an  upcoming American adaptation of the hit U.K. dance competition show of the same name.

Perhaps she'll ask Stern to join her at the judges table.

Follow @marcmalkin on Twitter!


Find out what Marc Malkin thinks of Sex and the City in today's Gossip Guru videoblog.


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