“Idol” names third judge


American IdolIt’s official: the judges have been named for the next season of Fox’s American Idol. Jennifer Lopez returns to American Idol XIII as a judge and will be joined by singer, musician, songwriter, composer and film/television and Broadway actor Harry Connick, Jr.  The two will sit on the judges’ panel with previously announced judge Keith Urban, the four-time Grammy Award-winning country artist who has sold more than 15 million albums. Lopez returns for her third stint on the show, having previously served as a judge on seasons 10 and 11. Urban sat on the judges panel in season 12, while Connick will judge for the first time. He appeared as a mentor and a performer several times before.

Rounding out the team is Idol vet Randy Jackson, who will lend his expertise to the contestants as an in-house mentor. Once again, the team will be led by host Ryan Seacrest.

Said Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting: “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 Idol 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 XIII debuts in January. In the meantime, production will hit Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City and San Francisco for auditions.