February 19, 2007 at 06:00 PM EST

So apparently, those rumors about Michael Jackson popping up on the current season of Idol were a little premature. Or at least that’s what producer Nigel Lythgoe wants us to believe. But there’s been buzz that the folks at Fox have been in touch with Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, and Timbaland about guest-coaching the contestants in the weeks ahead.

Which got me wondering: Which singer, songwriter, or music producer would you love to see make an appearance on the show — especially if their music served as that week’s theme? I’d pick Carly Simon (pictured), an artist with a large and lovely songbook that would help provide an episode that’s mercifully free of syrupy Celine Dion ballads and Stevie Wonder tracks the contestants simply can’t handle. Plus, with Carly’s well-documented stage jitters, she’d be an interesting mentor for a group of neophytes dealing with the glare of the national spotlight.

Now, it’s your turn: If you ran Idol, which singer or songwriter would you enlist as a guest coach — and why? And just to raise the stakes, try to limit yourself to one person. We’ll turn the 10 best answers into an upcoming EW.com gallery, so ready, set, pitch!

addCredit(“Carly Simon: Joe Kohen/WireImage.com”)

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