By Amy Ryan
June 23, 2005 at 06:43 PM EDT

Forget watching out-of-their-depth celebrities waltz or skate, what you really are dying for is to hear them open their golden throats and sing — and then get slammed by Simon Cowell. You may get your wish as soon as this fall, when Fox hopes to trot out a Celebrity Idol mini-series, where you’ll get to watch 10 sorta-famous people not previously known for their musical talents squawking their hearts out for charity, then vote them off the show.

This is such a splendid idea, it’s a wonder no one ever thought of it before — oh, wait a minute. NBC reality VP Craig Plestis says the idea for I’m a Celebrity but I Want to Be a Pop Star has ”been on the radar for us” for two years, while his Fox counterpart, Mike ”Skating With Celebrities” Darnell, says Fox has been considering Celebrity Idol for years and has been developing it actively ”for several months.” Of course, who thought of it first matters less than which network gets it on the air first. Now, there’s a reality competition for you: Whichever network gathers a quorum of already famous William Hung wannabes first wins.

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