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With ratings down and no finalists making an impact on the national consciousness, this is one way for American Idol to make headlines:

A new report claims producers tried to get ex-judge Jennifer Lopez to replace current judge Mariah Carey… DURING THIS SEASON.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a plan was hatched to bring J. Lo back into the fold, until Carey and her team threatened legal action against the show if Mariah was actually fired.


A Fox spokeswoman has labeled this clam yet “another ridiculous Idol judge rumor” and says it started because Lopez may perform on the May finale.

Producer Nigel Lythgoe, meanwhile, has gone on record with “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.”

Despite a strong set of female singers – Candice Glover and Amber Holcomb are especially notable – ratings continue to plummet for Idol.

The Wednesday performance show is averaging a 4.3 with adults 18-49, its lowest mark since the show’s inaugural season in 2001.

This plan may have been foiled (if it ever existed), but you tell us: Which singer do you prefer as a judge?