*Victor Willis, the police officer from the Village People, says he is also in the running to become a judge on “American Idol.”

He claims he recently had a meeting with show execs who told him that he’s a “dark horse candidate.” The singer tells TMZ he’d be the “best choice” to replace Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell because he was “the original idol judge for the selection of the Village People talent” back in 1977.

Despite Willis’ claims, EUR has learned exclusively that Jennifer Lopez is a lock for the judging panel (after Elton John turned it down), Randy Jackson is definitely returning, and the final chair will go to either Steven Tyler or returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.

Lythgoe, we are told, will not announce the new judging lineup until after he wraps work on his other Fox reality series, “So You Think You Can Dance.”