The long-standing judge admitted the former Pussycat Doll may not sign up for the 14th series of the ITV talent show, after being considered for a Hollywood role.
However, he already has an idea for a suitable replacement, in the shape of a former judge.
Speaking to The Mirror, Louis said: “Nicole might be getting a big movie like ‘Wicked’.
“If [Nicole doesn’t come back] Mel B would be a good idea for the panel.
“Mel is on the US show with Simon [Cowell],” he added of their partnership on ‘America’s Got Talent’.
He was quick to assure fans he would be back on the panel though, having previously been axed from the line-up in 2015.
“I am signed for the next two years on ‘X Factor’ so I am okay,” he said. “The show lacked energy when I was not there and Simon knew.”
One person we know for sure he won’t want to see back as a judge is Cheryl.
We were on the receiving end of some expletive-ridden abuse from Louis when we asked how he’d feel about the former Girls Aloud singer returning to the show last year.
His behaviour later caught the attention of Cheryl’s boyfriend, Liam Payne, who hit out at him on Twitter, telling him to “shut the fuck up”.
‘X Factor’ boss Simon Cowell recently admitted he was resistant to changing the panel again, after the line-up of him, Louis, Nicole and Sharon Osbourne proved a hit last year.
He told The Sun: “I don’t think for the moment we’d want to make any changes.
Trust Nicole to stick a spanner in the works, eh?
‘The X Factor’ returns on ITV in the autumn.