Lady Gaga should be a mentor on "American Idol," judge Simon Cowell said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday.
Cowell called her "the most relevant pop artist in the world at the moment."
Cowell, who will leave "Idol" after this season, said familiarity with the music industry is critical for his replacement on the judges' panel. "Find somebody who actually knows what they're talking about," he said.
Cowell said that wasn't a dig at new "Idol" judge Ellen DeGeneres, who Cowell said is "very responsible" for the artists who perform on her talk show. He refuted rumors that he and DeGeneres fought after he arrived late for filming. He also said he was only 15-20 minutes late, rather than an hour.
Cowell wouldn't name a dream replacement for his spot on "Idol," but he emphasized judging the show is major time commitment that probably wouldn't fit the schedules of big-name stars like Madonna.
Regarding the current season of "Idol," Cowell said he'd like to see a winner who's relevant in the current musical landscape. He said he'd like to find a Taylor Swift.
Cowell also briefly addressed Hollywood contestant Chris Golightly's disqualification. He said he was still unclear on the specifics, but he said Golightly "needed this opportunity (Idol)."