Image Credit: Michael Becker/FoxIn all the rampant speculation about the shape and size of American Idol‘s season 10 judging panel — Ellen is out! Jennifer Lopez is (possibly) in! Steven Tyler is dropping hints! — Kara DioGuardi’s ouster has been all but treated as a foregone conclusion. But it’s worth noting that a Fox spokesperson again declined comment this morning on DioGuardi’s future with the show. [Fox’s session at the TCA Press Tour is slated for this morning in Los Angeles, although sources close to the show said on Friday that an announcement about the season 10 panel won’t be happening there.]

Is it possible that the woman who went from squawking about “package artists” and dropping “early Aerosmith” gaffes in season 8 to offering tangible constructive advice to contestants in season 9 might be able to hold onto her position at Fox’s ratings juggernaut? And just as importantly, should she? While I’m definitely in the camp that thinks J.Lo could turn out to be a terrific addition to the show — if she avoids Ellen’s laundry list of mistakes — I’m also slightly worried that a panel free of both Simon Cowell and Kara would lack the business-minded feedback and I’m-not-worried-about-my-public persona honesty that Idol‘s crop of aspiring young singers so desperately needs. If Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, & Co. feel it’s absolutely necessary to keep at least one veteran judge on the show for its upcoming tenth season, maybe they should gamble on the polarizing woman with some of her own compositions currently on Billboard’s Hot 100 rather than the former Journey session player who hasn’t found a synonym for “pitchy” after almost a decade of live Idol telecasts. What do you think?

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