By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated February 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST

There seems to be a new person every week who is rumored to be up for Simon Cowell’s job on American Idol (Howard Stern and Jamie Foxx are among those mentioned recently). In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Cowell addressed some of those rumors and was frank about his high expectations for his successor, saying, ”You see people put in a certain role to play a certain role, which has become quite tiresome…. You’ve just got to find somebody who can actually make a difference to the contestants, who’s not afraid to speak their mind, who’s prepared to be honest – occasionally blunt – but not to be gratuitously rude, I’m really getting tired of all that now.”

Cowell also weighed in on a few potential replacements:

On Howard Stern:

”It’s like if you judge ice skating at the Olympics. If you’re going to give a score, you genuinely need to know what you’re talking about. I think, over the years, judges have been replaced by personalities. That, in the long term, will create problems because you have to be able to spot a star. So whoever replaces me, my advice would be find somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about and has actually experienced success in the music business.… He doesn’t seem to have any of this criteria (laughs). He’s played records so maybe that’s a good qualification. He obviously wants the job; good luck to him.”

On Perez Hilton:

”Perez would be funny. He’s got good taste in music. He’s a personality. That could work.”

On music producer Steve Lillywhite (who has a Facebook page to organizing his supporters and even made a YouTube video about why he should replace Simon)

”You’ve got to be good-looking,” Simon joked. Yes, he jokes. ”I think more and more I’m starting to realize with these shows that we have to put people on the shows who know what they’re talking about rather than guessing. They’ve really got to have experience so that they’re not just criticizing, but actually giving constructive criticism.”

On Noel Gallagher:

”Do you think people would understand him? (laughs) Actually, I know Noel quite well, and I like him. He’s very funny, and he’s a brilliant songwriter. It’s a possibility.”

On Madonna:

”The hardest thing actually about finding a replacement is that when you hear people’s names like Madonna, it’ll never happen because you’ve got to give a massive, massive time commitment. So that’s always been the problem.”

On his choice:

”If I really knew the answer to that question, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Well, PopWatchers, that’s Simon’s take. But what Simon-esque quality means most to you? Wit? Music cred? Stunning good looks? Or should we just chain him to his judge chair and swallow the key? Sound off below!