There's at least one vacant slot on the American Idol judging panel right now, assuming that Randy Jackson sticks around and Mariah Carey doesn't pull out. One of the many names that's been floated for the job has been Adam Lambert. Whether or not this actually happens remains to be seen, but the concept of Idol alumni judging the show is one that gets a huge "thumbs up" from one former finalist.
Kimberley Locke, who came in third in season two behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, thinks the time has come for former contestants to take a seat at the judges' table. "I believe that they should start doing it," she tells ABC News Radio. "Part of that is [me being selfish], because I would love to sit in that chair...but I think having a contestant on the other side of that table would be so interesting from the new contestants' standpoint."
Why? Kimberley explains, "Because we know what it's like to be on that stage. Randy doesn't know what it's like to be on that stage, you know? Mariah's not gonna know what it's like to be on that stage!"
She adds, "Having another contestant there who's looking at them, saying, 'We know how much time you had to prepare. We know how much help you had, we know the factors that most people don't know' -- we're gonna bring a third eye, if you will, to the whole panel!"
Kimberley also feels that both former Idol winners and past contestants who've had success should be considered as judges on the show. As for which former contestants would make the best judges -- besides herself, of course -- Kimberley names Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Ruben. "That would be a great show," she insists.
Speaking of Idol alumni, Kimberley teamed up with one to create her new single, "Finally Free." She wrote the song with season five favorite Ace Young, who also co-wrote Daughtry's first hit, "It's Not Over."
"Ace and I kept running into each other at different places and he said to me one day, 'You know, Kimberly, you should come by the studio. I'd really like it if you came by the studio and we can do some work together.' So, I was like, 'OK, great,'" she recalls. "So, I came by and we started listening to some songs and, you know, we came out with 'Finally Free,' and...I just thought, 'This is the song!'"
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio