Los Angeles – American Idol is betting that a judges’ remix with Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr and Keith Urban will fare better with viewers than bickering divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj did last season.
Fox today announced the addition of Lopez and Connick as judges for Season 13. They’ll join Urban to make up the talent show’s first panel consisting solely of singers – like NBC’s successful 2011 upstart The Voice.
Pop star and actress Lopez will be back on American Idol after a two-season run as judge in 2011 and 2012 that helped the show and her career. Connick Jr, 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.
“I think this season of Idol is gonna be a blast,” Urban said today. “New team, new energy and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance.”
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.
Idol won viewers by discovering future stars, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson. But recent winners haven’t had similar success.
Host Ryan Seacrest said that early Idol auditions have cemented his belief “that a new superstar is within our sights”.
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