Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will join Randy Jackson as American Idol judges next season, after months of turnover and speculation about the future of TV's top-rated show.
With pomp rivaling that of a U.S. Supreme Court appointment, Fox finally assembled the new pieces of the Idol panel that will be returned to its original three-member format for season 10.
Actress-singer-dancer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Tyler will have the job of trying to match the offbeat chemistry of former judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
“This is American Idol!” host Ryan Seacrest said after the new judges joined him on stage at the Forum arena in Inglewood, Calif., where the final national audition for next season's singing contest was held Wednesday.
Tyler said he wanted to join the show because “it's being a part of something much bigger than yourself. … I want to bring some rock to this roller coaster and show if you've got the heart, the talent, the feeling to do this you could be the next American Idol.”
“I'm so excited,” said Lopez. “I'm looking for the next Michael Jackson.”
Lopez and Tyler could help American Idol reinvent itself for the new season, when it will try to stem a ratings slide and bring in younger viewers.
But Fox and the show's producers didn't match the new judges to the target audience when it comes to age: Lopez is 41, and Tyler is 62. Jackson is in the middle at age 54.