It’s a topic we’ve tip-toed around for the last few weeks, but now it’s official: Jennifer Lopez will return as a judge on American Idol next season. Joining Lopez at the judges’ table are Steven Tyler, who also debuted as a judge for season 10, and Idol vet Randy Jackson. Idol’s executive producer confirmed the news during a call today with On Air With Ryan Seacrest. He said,”I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of American Idol [Seacrest] is back for the next season.” He also mentioned how the trio were set to hit the road soon for Season 11 auditions in Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Portland, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Charleston.
Earlier this year, Lopez admitted to being “on the fence” about returning to the reality show for the upcoming season, so what brought the pop diva back into the Idol family? Lopez said, “You get to know their hopes and their dreams on camera, off-camera. You’re helping them off camera, you’re helping them on camera and it’s this crazy ride you go on together.” That’s very touching. I suppose that potential $20 million deal for her new contract had nothing to do with it then, right? Welcome back J-Lo!