As reports swirl that Britney Spears is still in talks with Simon Cowell to join Fox's "The X Factor," we have to ask: Should an infamous lip-syncer be judging a talent competition?
"I think the more experienced the singer, the better," observes Taylor Hicks, "American Idol" winner, of Britney's potential new gig. "The fact that a legit performer is giving you constructive criticism holds a lot more weight in my opinion."
Fellow performer Debbie Gibson agrees that the show needs a judge whose raw talent speaks for itself.
"Absolutely not!" Debbie tells me when asked if Britney should join the show. "I definitely think if vocals are what the show is about, then the judges need to walk the walk or sing the song."
However, several industry insiders point out that Cowell himself isn't a performer, yet he has a cozy spot behind the judges' table.
"I think Britney would be great for 'X Factor' given all the experience she has as being a global superstar," says Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank." "She will be able to provide some incredible guidance and advice to all the contestants. Britney has also faced adversity and has come back from many personal challenges, and the public always supports her. She is more than just her voice."
Britney may have the experience to determine who has the makings of a superstar, but will she make for good TV?
"I don't hold lip-syncing against a performer. Almost everybody does it at one point or another," says Joe Levy, former editor of Rolling Stone, who worked with Britney on several covers. "Britney's done this since she was a kid. She's got enough experience to judge whether or not someone is a good performer. I'd be more concerned about her talking without a script for the first time in her life than judging someone's pitch."
Maybe the best suggestion comes from Lindsay Lohan's mother, who offers up the name of a similar lip-syncing legend: "Cher’s knowledge and personality makes her the perfect replacement."
Dina Lohan may be on to something, and we have a feeling that Cher wouldn't scoff at a $10 million offer.
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 8: US singer, Britney Spears, arrives at the 1999 Billboard Music Awards, 08 December, 1999, held at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo credit should read BRIAN JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US pop singer Britney Spears poses with the award she won for favorite new artist at the 27th annual American Music Awards 17 January 2000 in Los Angeles. The American Music Awards winners are choesn by music listeners across the US. AFP PHOTO Jim RUYMEN/jr (Photo credit should read JIM RUYMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - MAY 11: Singer Britney Spears attends 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango 2013 held at The Home Depot Center on May 11, 2013 in Carson, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Singer Britney Spears attends the premiere of Columbia Pictures' 'Smurfs 2' at Regency Village Theatre on July 28, 2013 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 21: Singer Britney Spears introduces a performance by Miley Cyrus during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 03: Singer Britney Spears holds a bouquet of flowers at a welcome ceremony as she celebrates the release of her new album 'Britney Jean' and prepares for her two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 3, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spears' show 'Britney: Piece of Me' will debut at the resort on December 27, 2013. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Singer Britney Spears, winner of the Favorite Pop Artist award, poses in the press room at The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
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