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Can American Idol survive without Simon Cowell next year?

Season 8 finalist Allison Iraheta thinks so.

"Idol has been around for so long and it has its own following," Iraheta, 17, told Saturday at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala in Los Angeles. Cowell announced last month he's leaving the Fox hit after nine seasons to focus on bringing his British show, X Factor, to the states.

"It's not only about the judges. There are awesome contestants," she continued. "I'm not just saying that because I was a contestant! But I think it's going to do well."

The rocker, who released her first album, Just Like You, last December, says she thinks Ellen DeGeneres will be a good replacement for Paula Abdul.

"She might be funny, but she's really going to tell it like it is!" Iraheta said.

DeGeneres debuts as a judge Feb. 9 during Hollywood Week.