Auditions for the next season of “American Idol” began this week in New Orleans as the short list of possible judges to fill Simon Cowell’s empty seat kept growing. The latest name being considered: Jessica Simpson.
“Jessica has been approached about ‘American Idol’ but nothing has been confirmed yet on either end,” a source close to Simpson told TODAYshow.com.
If Simpson does get the “Idol” green light, don’t expect her to be the permanent replacement for Cowell. “She’s not his replacement — they’re two entirely different personalities,” according to a source who’s quoted in the new issue of Life & Style magazine. “This is part of a massive overhaul of the show. There may be more judges, more opinions.”
Chris Isaak , Harry Connick Jr. and Justin Timberlake are also said to be in talks with the show. Reps for “American Idol” wouldn’t comment about any new potential judges, but they did confirm there’s no new judge in place.
“The only person who’s been to auditions in New Orleans is Ryan Seacrest,” a rep for the show told TODAYshow.com. “That’s normal, though — this is just the round where the group gets culled, then there’s a producer round and then in late August the judges see potential ‘Idols.’ Hopefully there will be a new judge in place by then.”
Sandra Bullock remains close to Jesse’s girl
Even though Sandra Bullock is divorced from Jesse James, the Oscar-winning actress has been making an attempt to stay in his daughter Sunny’s life. (James also has two other children, Jesse James Jr. and Chandler James.)
As soon as Sunny moves to Austin, Texas, with her father, Bullock has planned a family vacation with the 6-year-old, a friend close to the star told In Touch Weekly. “She considers Sunny her own daughter,” the source said.
Sunny will be staying with her biological mother, Janine Lindemulder, for the rest of the summer. The source said that Bullock “understands it’s important that Sunny reconnect with her mom,” but is sad about the monthlong separation. Still, she’s keeping in touch with Sunny by Skyping and sending presents during the time they are not together, according to the magazine.
Team Zoe is falling apart
Rachel Zoe’s longtime assistant, Taylor Jacobson, is reportedly fired on the third season premiere of “The Rachel Zoe Project.”
In an interview with TV Guide, Jacobson had more than a few thinly veiled nasty comments to say about the celebrity stylist, adding that she doesn’t “know anyone who hasn’t been supposedly fired by Rachel.”
Taking the high road, Zoe glazed over the controversy during a conference call with TODAYshow.com on Monday.
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“There is a difference between supposedly being fired and being fired,” Zoe said. “It’s not the first time that I have been disappointed, and it’s not the first time someone has been fired from my team. It has happened twice before, which is not very much. I’ve been doing this for 15 years.”
What Zoe is focusing on instead is the positive moments in the new season, which premieres Aug. 3. She said one of her favorite moments was working with Naomi Campbell for the supermodel’s fashion show, “Fashion for Relief Haiti.” The stylist said she had to put together more than 90 looks in just four days.
“It’s the most gratifying thing I’ve done in my career,” Zoe said. “It was a tremendous undertaking in my career.”
Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on today.msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc.
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