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“I would love to sit in that chair and, you know, give some advice from the contestant’s standpoint because I’ve been on that stage and I know what it’s like,” Miss Locke said Monday in an interview with the Associated Press.

But don’t consider her a pushover. Miss Locke says she’ll be brutally honest about each performance and “give it with no fluff.”

“When you’re a contestant on that show, you do need that hard truth sometimes,” Miss Locke says, anticipating her critical tone would fall somewhere between the styles of two former judges.

“I’m not quite as nice as Paula [Abdul]. Paula’s super, super nice, but I don’t think I’m quite as mean as Simon [Cowell] either.”

The empty judges’ chairs came after Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez decided not to come back for another season. Last week, Mariah Carey confirmed she would join the show’s 12th season. Other names mentioned to fill the missing spot include Nick Jonas, Pharrell Williams and Charlie Sheen.

Whether Miss Locke gets the call or not, she loves the idea of former contestants coming back to judge. Adam Lambert also has been vocal about his willingness to be a judge on “Idol.”

Since finishing behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken at the end of the show’s second season, Miss Locke embarked on a solo career, releasing two albums on Curb Records. Miss Locke recently started her own label, IAM Entertainment. Her first single, “Finally Free” came out Tuesday. She plans to release another single this year and a full album early next year.

Ricky Gervais offers English lessons in new web series

British comic Ricky Gervais is leaping onto the web series bandwagon, saying Tuesday he has finished editing a pilot for an online project with a distinctly pedagogical theme.

He gave few details about “Learn English with Ricky Gervais” besides saying the pilot has “turned out great” and that he might charge viewers “a small fee … a couple of quid [British pounds]” to cover the cost of making the show.

“I’m thinking of making a clean version of the pilot available for download so people can put their own subtitles on it and repost it,” added the 51-year-old creator of the hit comedy “The Office” on his blog.

Web series, specially written and produced for Internet viewing, are swiftly gaining in popularity — and big-name stars are joining the fray.

Earlier in July, Jerry Seinfeld premiered “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” in which he toodles around town in vintage cars, yaks about nothing in particular with fellow comics, then stops off for a caffeine fix.

• Compiled from wire reports.