By Michael Slezak
Updated January 31, 2007 at 05:26 AM EST

Okay, so Paula Abdul has appeared to be on the brink of collapse during most of her recent live TV appearances (like this one). And yes, she’s drifted in and out of a lucid state during the first four episodes of this season of American Idol. That said, today’s report in Us magazine that the show has looked into replacing her with Courtney Love smells fishier than a deck hand after a month aboard the USS Tuna. We’re still awaiting word from Idol‘s producers regarding the rumor, but think about it: What network in their right mind would greenlight the idea of Hole’s unpredictable, foul-mouthed frontwoman appearing on live TV? As part of their biggest advertising cash-cow? Which happens to be popular with the family set? Maybe if Idol schedules a Hot Mess theme week, then a little mad Love would work, but otherwise, I don’t see it.

Plus, I secretly kind of heart Paula. There, I said it. She cried when Elliott Yamin (who’s apparently scored an indie record deal—yay!) hit his peak on “A Song for You,” and so did I. So go Paula!

Anyhow, in the meantime, here’s some scoop about one guest you might see booked for a return engagement on Idol: Songwriter Carole Bayer Sager, who pitched in during the New York City audition rounds, tells EW’s own Allyssa Lee that she’s in talks with Idol about a theme week centered around her greatest hits. “It would be really nice to have my songs star on American Idol, and not me. I loved being guest judge, everyone was so kind. But your dream as a songwriter is to have your songs performed on Idol. I’m hoping that can happen. And no one’s going to say to my songs that they look like anybody,” she said, referring to the fact that some fans and critics noted her striking resemblance to Joan Collins.

Which leaves me with a question for you, PopWatchers: Who have been the best guest coaches/judges during Idol‘s six seasons? Who’ve been the worst? And who deserves a chance to serve in that capacity this season?

UPDATE: Fox has released a statement from Idol honcho Nigel Lythgoe: “I did not call Courtney Love and am afraid someone may have misrepresented me. Courtney Love is a very talented artist, but the judges for American Idol are Paula, Randy and Simon. We have no plans to add to or replace any of them.”