'American Idol' officially adds J.Lo and Harry Connick Jr. as judges
As usual, the Hollywood rumor mill took some of the wind out of Fox’s sails but the network made it official today anyway: Harry Connick Jr. — together with the returning Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban — will serve as judges on the 13th season of American Idol.
Idol veteran Randy Jackson will also be back, but this time as an in-house mentor. Naturally, Ryan Seacrest will be back as host. “American Idol has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom, and personality to do just that,” said Fox Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly in a statement. “Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves Idol and whom Idol fans love; Harry Connick, Jr., a bonafide musical genius and fantastic Idol mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars; Keith Urban, a multi-Grammy-winning artist who was such a positive force on the show last season. We are also very excited to have our friend Randy Jackson now in a new role as mentor, and the captain of our team – the heart and soul of Idol – Ryan Seacrest returning as host.”
Connick also put out this statement: “I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show. And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”
“I think this season of Idol is gonna be a blast,” said Keith Urban. “New team, new energy, and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance!”
The judges will begin today in Boston. The panel will travel to Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco.
Idol will return in January.