‘American Idol’: Jennifer Lopez & Harry Connick Jr. Join Judges Table

Jennifer LopezFrederick M. Brown/Getty Images

What’s old is new on American Idol, it seems. Jennifer Lopez, who left the Fox singing competition after Season 11 will be back for Season 13, and this time she’s being joined by new judge Harry Connick, Jr. Aussie country star Keith Urban will round out the judges table in the third spot, with Randy Jackson shifting over to his new role as a “mentor” to the contestants. Idol returns in January but begins auditions today, Sept. 3, in Boston, with subsequent stops scheduled in Atlanta, Austin, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. Whether the new judges panel will stop Idol‘s ratings slide is another matter

Harry Connick Jr.Joseph Marzullo/Wenn

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 released his own statement following up an Fox’s announcement, saying, “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.”

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