Last month, the rumor mill teased the possibility that Dr. Luke would be joining Fox’s hit singing competition series, American Idol, rounding out the judges panel at three. We later found out he wouldn’t be able to make the time commitment, and it only took Fox’s singing competition a few more days to officially fill the slot. The choice is a bit of a strange one, but it’s looking like Harry Connick Jr. will be joining American Idol as the third judge on the panel in Season 13.
Fox has yet to make an announcement on the subject, but if Connick Jr. does join the show, he will be on a panel opposite Keith Urban and (most likely) Jennifer Lopez during the new season. The former, a country star, will be the only returning judge from Season 12. Like Urban, Lopez also has Idol judging experience; she served on the infamous judging panel that also included Steven Tyler a couple of years ago. The actor and singer has had some Idol experience, as well. Connick Jr. served as a guest judge last season and has popped up on the reality competition series in other capacities, including as a performer and mentor.
We’ve known Connick Jr. was in consideration for the slot for a while. Back in May, the singer told E! that he had been approached for the gig. However, this comment came out amidst a slew of rumors stating former contestants might be returning as judges. I think many of us would have liked to see people like Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson give judging a stab, but apparently their schedules didn’t work out. Now it seems Connick Jr. may be joining the team, but without official confirmation, we have to rely on a THR report that Connick Jr. attended an Idol party hosted by producer Simon Fuller earlier this week.
The 45-year-old has been strangely quiet about his potential to be added to the series, although he did retweet a comment from Ellen Degeneres on the topic. If he does get added, he won’t be the first actor and singer to join the judges panel and probably won’t even be the only actor/singer to be a part of the panel next year. Connick Jr. may not be quite as prominent as Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, but he has sold 25 million albums and his level of experience and knowledge of the music field should be an asset.
You can see the sort of advice Connick Jr. has given in the past in a backstage clip from last season. Connick Jr. weighs in around the 25 second mark, and seems to be grasping for words a little bit, but mostly gives a solid criticism.
Fox’s American Idol is expected to return to the schedule in 2014.