Keith Urban Returning as American Idol Judge, Jennifer Lopez in Talks
American Idol has one judge confirmed for Season 13! Fox chairman Kevin Reilly announced at the 2013 Summer TCA Press Tour on Monday, Aug. 1, that Keith Urban will return to the judges panel in January -- and, after just one season away, Jennifer Lopez is in talks to return.
"I can't talk too much about it . . . I will confirm one thing is Keith [Urban] is gonna return to the show," Reilly told the press about next season's judging panel. "Keith did a great job last year, the fans really liked him. Keith's a really funny guy . . ."
The 45-year-old country singer's fellow Season 12 judges, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, confirmed their departures from the reality musical competition show on Twitter May 30. Veteran judge Randy Jackson also announced he was leaving on May 9.
As for Minaj and Carey's replacements on the judging panel, Reilly would only confirm that the show has been talking with Lopez, who was a judge during Seasons 10 and 11.
"Most of what you're writing is true," he told reporters of the casting rumors. "All of the names have been considered and in discussions. There is no deal with [Jennifer Lopez] or with anybody else, so I really can't speak to it any more than that," he said. "We want some judges in that refocus our attention on the contestants. It really became too much about the judges. The show's always been about the contestants."
A source tells Us Weekly, despite reports to the contrary, it's a bit premature to say that Lopez, 44, is "close" to signing a deal. According to the insider, Lopez was "the top choice of the new producers" but there has been "a lot of drama" over pay. "It's a bit presumptuous to say it's almost a done deal," the source explains.