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Earlier today, American Idol announced Keith Urban will return to judge Season 13 of the reality competition series. In addition, longtime contributor Randy Jackson is reportedly in talks to return in some capacity (probably as a mentor or guest judge), and perhaps most surprising of all, Jennifer Lopez may return after previously departing the show to take up her old seat.
With producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick departing and on air personalities Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey also bailing, we’ve known for a long time that this upcoming season would be different, but thanks to these latest rumors, it seems like the show might not be quite as different as expected. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, the judging panel consisting of only prior contestants has apparently been scraped, and if Urban and Lopez are both brought back, that would seem to eliminate the possibility of bringing on board some behind the scenes voices that would offer a different perspective.
Not surprisingly, the Jennifer Lopez rumors have deeply divided fans. There are some who think her return is exactly what the competition needs, and there are others that thing her presence would basically be a disaster for a show in desperate need of reinventing itself. As for me, I’m not really sure what to think.
On the one hand, Lopez is a magnetic presence on the air. The camera absolutely loves her, and she’s a wonderful combination of genuinely affectionate with the contestants and willing to offer real critiques. She has opinions of her own, but she’s able to deliver them in a way that’s not mean-spirited. In short, she’s one of the better judges that have ever taken up residence on the show.
On the other hand, however, the potential of the new producers surprising everyone and totally switching things up was so appealing. An all former contestants panel would have offered a completely original perspective, and I think former fans actually would have tuned back in to watch Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson interact with the hopefuls. Hell, I think people would have tuned in to watch Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood and Katherine McPhee too. It would have been such a fresh and original take that it would have changed the entire game.
What do you think? Do you want to see Jennifer back on the Idol set, or would you rather the show go in an entirely different direction? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
Should She Come Back?
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