|Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez to Judge 'American Idol'|
|By LESLEY MESSER (@lesleymesser)||Sep 3, 2013, 10:33 AM|
On Tuesday, Fox confirmed that Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. will round out the judges' panel on the upcoming season of "American Idol," along with previously announced judge Keith Urban. Randy Jackson will return as a mentor and Ryan Seacrest will continue to host the show.
"'American Idol' has always been about discovering the next singing superstar and the next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom and personality to do just that," Kevin Reilly, Fox's chairman of entertainment, said in a statement.
Ratings reached an all-time low last season, which some attribute to the hostile relationship between departed judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. Still, fans were excited for Urban's return, as was he.
"Thrilled to be back on @AmericanIdol with my pal @RyanSeacrest," he tweeted last month. "Dying to know who the other judges will be!!!!"
Meanwhile, Connick., Jr., who has appeared on the show in the past, said he's looking forward to becoming a more permanent staple on the show.
"I have always been a huge fan of 'American Idol' and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show," he said in a statement. "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."
Two familiar faces, Lopez, who judged the season 10 from 2011-2012 and Jackson, one of the show's original judges, also expressed excitement about the upcoming 13th season.
"Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all," said Jackson. "Season 1-3 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America."