'American Idol': Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, David Cook & Constantine Maroulis on Possible Return

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
American Idol past winners and finalists perform together onstage during FOX's "American Idol" Finale For The Farewell Season at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif.

If host Ryan Seacrest is to be believed, Thursday night's (April 7) finale was not the end for American Idol, it's just the end "for now."

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With that in mind, Billboard caught up with many Idol alumni -- including winners Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Lee DeWyze and David Cook -- on the red carpet to pick their brains about how they would resurrect the show if it does return.

Attention Simon Fuller: here are some ideas. 

Fantasia (winner, season 3): "If it does, they should bring [Paula Abdul], [Randy Jackson] and [Simon Cowell] back. That’s where it started, you know. I would come back. I really would. I always share my story of my life to encourage other young people who want to do this and whatever they want to be. In life there are struggles, and you go through some things. You may fall down but you got to get back up. I’ve always been an open book and I would love to do that and share my story to encourage them."

James Durbin (season 10, fourth Place): "I don’t know. It’s not going to be the same. Even if it does come back it isn’t going to be the same format, it’s not going to have Ryan and have the same vibe, so I really don’t know. But if they ask me to be a part of it I would in a heartbeat, because I owe everything to American Idol. American Idol is living the American Dream and turning it into a reality and it happens to be reality TV. It works."

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Taylor Hicks (winner, season 5): "I think that they ought to have  all the winners do an Idol season. Like World Idol did. All the winners come back and go through different rounds and stuff. It would definitely be interactive."

Danny Gokey (season 8, top 3): "Keep the original format. In my opinion go back to the roots of the original judges and the way they did it from the beginning. Who knows? That’s the best thing I got. I would pick Simon, Paula and Randy. Bring the trio back."

Lee DeWyze (winner, season 9): "If Idol ever came back and asked me to come back and ask me to be part of it and judge it that would be fun. I’m sure whatever emerges from the show is going to be the next best thing. It would be cool, it would be fun."

Constantine Maroulis (season 4, sixth place): "I would like it to look like me in Keith’s (Keith Urban) chair, Daughtry in Harry’s (Harry Connick, Jr.) chair and Jordin Sparks in J Lo’s (Jennifer Lopez) chair. Then we will get Ace Young and Diana (DeGarmo) to host it and we’ll get some backstage with Mikayla Gordon and Blake Lewis and make it about the contestants again, like it was originally when no one really knew who Paula, Randy and Simon were. Of course, Paula had a huge career as a pop star, but they were reintroducing her to a completely new audience and Randy being more of a professional musician, and Simon -- no one had known him yet. I think that would be an interesting way to downsize it but still make it what it was originated from for the journey of the contestant and their dreams. I think the three of us would represent a great sort of different thing: Daughtry with the mega success selling albums, me with what you can do without being a huge superstar and do a myriad of different projects and quality work and Jordin as sort of the epitome of the pop star. So that would be my kind of dream."

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Allison Iraheta (season 8, fourth place): "It would be so much fun to watch Simon Cowell come back, wouldn’t it? It would be interesting. I still like television so I think it would be fun to watch on TV again like the good old days."

David Cook (winner, season 7): "I would hope they would bring alumni back to be involved. It is a unique experience, and hopefully we can lend some expertise in that particular area. But it’s been such a great platform, to bring it back would be huge. It’s an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn’t get the opportunity to make music for a living, and that’s huge."


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