New Idol Judges: Connick, JLo

Fox confirms casting rumors

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 3, 2013 10:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a weekend's worth of rumors, Fox announced today that Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez will join Keith Urban as judges for the 13th season of American Idol, in the hopes that that line-up will fare better with viewers than bickering divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj did last season. This panel marks the first time in the show's history the judges have all been singers. Fox also announced that original judge Randy Jackson, who left along with Carey and Minaj, will be back in a new role as in-house mentor to the contestants.

Lopez returns to Idol after a two-season run as judge in 2011 and 2012 that helped the show and her career. Connick, a respected jazz singer and musician, proved adept as a mentor in several Idol appearances. Urban's return was announced last month by Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly, who said the singer didn't get a chance to show his personality in his first turn as a judge. Urban appeared overwhelmed last season by the Carey-Minaj crossfire that drew complaints from some viewers.

In this Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Jennifer Lopez arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
In this Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 file photo, Jennifer Lopez arrives at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.   (Chris Pizzello)
In this May 19, 2013 file photo, musician Keith Urban arrives for the screening of the film Inside Llewyn Davis at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France.
In this May 19, 2013 file photo, musician Keith Urban arrives for the screening of the film "Inside Llewyn Davis" at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France.   (Lionel Cironneau)
In this May 2, 2013 file photo originally released by Fox, singer Harry Connick Jr. performs onstage at FOX's American Idol Season 12 Top 4 To 3 Live Elimination Show in Los Angeles.
In this May 2, 2013 file photo originally released by Fox, singer Harry Connick Jr. performs onstage at FOX's "American Idol" Season 12 Top 4 To 3 Live Elimination Show in Los Angeles.   (Frank Micelotta)
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