Harry Connick Jr.
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.
The rumored addition of Lopez and Connick as judges for season 13 was announced Tuesday by Fox. They’ll join Urban to make up the talent show’s first panel consisting solely of singers — a la 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 was a boon for the show and her career. Connick, a respected jazz singer and musician, proved adept as a mentor in several Idol appearances.
Urban’s return to the contest 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 in a statement Tuesday.
Fox also announced that original judge Randy Jackson, who exited along with Carey and Minaj at the end of last season, will be back in a new role as in-house mentor to the contestants. Ryan Seacrest, also part of Idol from the start, will again be the show’s host. American Idol returns in January.