Harry Connick Jr. Fills Out ‘American Idol’ Judges Panel
Mega talent show “American Idol” has just finalized the judges line-up for next year’s season and Harry Connick Jr is the third musketeer to claim one of those critical chairs.
Connick Jr will join the only returning judge from this year, Keith Urban, and walking mega-brand Jennifer Lopez or J-Lo, as she is often better-known. Jenny on the Block participated as a judge in 2011 and 2012, and performed on the show during its last season.
J-Lo and Connick Jr will replace Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, after ratings sagged worse than a pair of overstretched underpants during last season’s run. While the show has been steadily loosening its death grip on the American entertainment world, it’s still a force to be reckoned with, with this years’ judge salaries estimated to be in the $20 million range.
Apparently, Fox had looked to past show winners to act as potential judges, including Jennifer Hudson. Other reports rumored Dr. Luke and will.i.am to be taking up the vacant seats.
Despite the show’s dramatic judge history, Randy Jackson, the longest tenured ex-judge, will still be around as an in-house mentor.
Fox’s chairman of entertainment, Kevin Reilly, who runs the whole shebang, issued the following statement in relation to the announcement:
“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: Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves and whom ‘Idol’ fans love; Harry Connick Jr., a bona-fide 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.”
“American Idol” kicks off next January.