By Michael Slezak
Updated August 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Image Credit: F Micelotta/Getty ImagesTake this week’s round of rumors about American Idol‘s potential lineup of season 10 judges with a grain of salt. A source close to the negotiations tells exclusively that “no deals have fallen apart due to unreasonable demands.” The Idol insider staunchly refused to name names, but said that even the most A-list of potential replacements for Simon Cowell’s job have been “really gracious. This is an extremely high-profile gig, and you’d better believe no one — male or female — has been unreasonable at the negotiating table.”

Going into this week, a number of media sources speculated that Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson were the front-runners for seats on Idol‘s season 10 judging panel, but on Monday, several Web sites reported that Lopez’s deal had fallen apart at the eleventh hour. “Don’t believe everything you read,” cautioned the Idol insider. “This may simply be a case of one diva’s rep slinging mud to make another potential candidate look like a diva. There are a million agendas swirling out there, and a lot of camps aren’t above using rumor and speculation to advance their causes.” Indeed, with reps from Fox, Idol, and Fremantle all declining official comment on potential replacements for the exiting Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres, the landscape is ripe for wannabe judges’ confidantes to plant poisonous seeds in the media with regard to their competition.

Another source close to the show tells me the only certainty is that Fox is loving the 24/7 cycle of media speculation about a show that will enter its tenth season in January 2011, a point at which buzz should be diminishing, not deafening. “It’s the perfect position to be in,” says my source, who wouldn’t be surprised if Fox waits till the end of the month to make an announcement about which celebs will play the roles of Randy-Paula-Simon for a new generation of Idoloonies. [Related: ‘American Idol’: 15 Ways to Fix It!; EW’s exclusive acoustic performance with season 8’s Allison Iraheta; ‘American Idol’: The 13 Worst Performances of All Time]

For all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.