Dr. Luke Closing Deal to Judge American Idol (Report)

Deadline is reporting that hit producer, Dr. Luke is closing a deal to join the American Idol judges panel.

Despite other names surfacing over the past week, I’ve learned that Dr. Luke is closing a deal to join Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez as the third judge on the upcoming 13th season of Fox’s American Idol. Additionally, original Idol judge Randy Jackson continues negotiations to replace Jimmy Iovine as in-house mentor.

No only am I happy that the deal with Will.i.am fell through, but SUPER happy that Scooter Braun won’t be joining the panel, since he was handpicked by Jlo. Honestly, it’s bad enough having her back on the panel without her handpicking who rounds out the table.

Via Deadline

ETA: E news is reporting that Dr. Luke has already closed the deal.

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Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • bannanafish

    Apart from Kelly, he has also co-written/produced for Bo Bice, Daughtry, Adam Lambert & Jordin Sparks so he isn’t one of those “too cool for idol” people.

  • MarySue

    Why the JLo hate? I always liked her, plus she picked good contestants. Seasons 10 and 11 had the best casts overall.

  • emlz

    Compared to some of the other rumors that has been tossed around, this is good news to me. Looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the show and the contestants this upcoming season.

  • Pat H

    Does anyone remember how many years the Interscope/Idol contract is for? Seems so weird, to me, that a judge would be from a competing label.

  • taptap

    Because some people don’t like her, and didn’t think she picked good contestants.

    Also she says ‘goosies’, which is enough for me to not want her.

  • Nicole P.

    It’ll be great to have a behind the scenes man as a judge! (fingers crossed) Maybe it’ll be really good for the Idols too since he can know them better and be able to help write good songs for them too after Idol (or even the coronation song!)

  • alterego

    Dr. Luke was a producer and writer on Adam Lambert’s Trespassing CD. He worked on the singles Better Than I Know Myself and Never Close Our Eyes.

  • MarySue

    Well Kara was on Warner Bros records, and she was still a judge for a show with a rival label. How do you know he is boring?

  • http://www.jstamers.com/ Jordan Seltzer

    What made Simon great was that he was a Record Executive. This guy is a male version of Kara. Same thing. They needed an Exec who knows what talent is.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I realize that once I learned that JLo and Randy were back, I really didn’t care about Idol any more. Oh well.

  • JLE12

    Great, and I say this as an (granted newer) Adam fan, the two most boring songs on his CD. IMO. Still better than Will.i.am though.

  • JusticePrevails

    Closing a deal?
    I got the scoop “Dr. Luke Officially Joining American Idol as 3rd Judge”

    Don’t know this guy, but I’ll give him a try at judge.


  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Does anyone remember how many years the Interscope/Idol contract is for? Seems so weird, to me, that a judge would be from a competing label.

    News coverage from the time of the deal doesn’t say. It’s all vague.

    But we know label affiliation wasn’t an issue this time around, as very early judging rumors, straight from Idol/FOX execs, involved alumni judges, which led to almost-but-not-quite signing JHud. She’s always been on Sony labels, as has Clarkson, who was supposedly also considered; and at the time of the Lambert rumors, he was with RCA.

    Reading the August 2010 to February 2011 coverage of the UMG-Idol deal is a hoot, btw. Lucien Grainge, high-mucky-muck of UMG, had wanted the deal because it was supposed to be an easy money-maker, and they were going to amplify the cash flow by launching lots of Idols internationally. Also, theme nights were going to be eliminated.

    Anyway, I’m all for a Dr. Luke deal. He can’t possibly have a catchphrase as irritating as “goosies.”

  • Ari

    While interested to see what Dr Luke might bring to the panel – in addition to some credibility – Im just really disappointed that they brought back JLO. It doesnt give me any incentive to watch. I can close my eyes and already picture her in the middle sitting next to Keith and feel Ive already watched the entire season. Throw Randy into the mix and Ryan is still there – and how is the show totally revamped with new producers hired? Did Darnell ever leave or is he pulling strings from his new job?

  • Ari

    I dont know his personality but after last year, they really needed to add an industry person…and this one is not only a hit maker but has worked with former Idols so he will be able to look at these folks as potential artists regardless of where they finish. Maybe theyll even be a deal where he’d produce/write the winners single, which might make it a hit versus a syrupy song. I Just still cant get over JLO back. The other thing by having a writer/producer, its one thing that distinguishes them from XF and Voice which have gone the all artist route (except for Simon, of course but I feel he jumped the shark years ago and already envision the fake banter pitting him against the 3 ‘girls’)

  • Ari

    Well Iovine is out so that at least will probably limit his involvement to some extend – at least during the competition

  • Ari

    Adam could have been an interesting choice. And having a former contestant (and an openly gay one at that) could have created some buzz too. I think he would have empathized with the contestants but also not been afraid to criticze them or give them the truth about the real world post Idol. No goodies and cheaper than JLO. It would have helped him promote his new album and with him appearing on Glee , I thought it would be good cross pollination just like with Demi

  • Ari

    Yep, its hard to feel excited because at this point its almost impossible to think about what changes they could make to reinvigorate the show – unless they “plant” some amazing out of this world or a 20 year old Susan Boyle. When you add Ryan, Randy, JLo, Keith – what is new? That we wont have Mariah and Nicki throwing shade? Or that Randy will be pre-taped instead of live so maybe he can get some better lines written for him. Its all really disappointing. JLo didnt rescue the show the first time so why think she’d do it now. WIth all the female talent out there, its just impossible to think that they couldnt find anybody else. My wacky dream was still Cher as she has the career experience and she has the ‘say it like you mean it’ gene as seen on Twitter where she couldnt care less what anyone says or thinks of her. Plus with a new album coming out, I thought she might want the press. She definitely would create excitement and the outfits and hair would be better than JLo and Minaj put together. At least The Voice got her for a guest spot although Im sure she’ll be encouraging there. But her first single didnt do that well; I have a feeling younger demo people dont even know who she is

  • alterego

    The alum idea didn’t go over too well when it was reported that Jennifer Hudson had a pending contract with the previous producers.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    Lambert was never going to get JLo’s seat because, while stylish, he’s not really a source of bodacious tatas (and, indeed, the last male judge with any tata action at all was Cowell, where it did not flatter).

    The other two seats became pretty clearly reserved for Keith “I’m Drily Witty, Not Ineffectual” Urban and a producer type.

    And so it goes. I’m just as glad not to see any Idols reading TPTB’s script, whatever it is this year. It’s not fun to see people whose music I like with their balls in a vise, and seeing it done to those I don’t like is good for only a limited number of weeks of schadenfreude.

  • BGraben

    There is nobody they could add that makes up for the awful decision of bringing back Jennifer Lopez and Randy.

    I feel for MJ, she deserves a better show to cover. Dr. Luke wont stop the ratings slide.

  • Guest

    You “feel” for her? If she didn’t like the show anymore, she would just shut down the blog. Obviously she loves covering the show, otherwise this blog wouldn’t be here.

  • taptap

    Doesn’t AI ‘officially’ confirm it’s judges?

    Maybe e! has a great inside scoop, but I’ll believe who the judges are when there’s an official press release from AI. I can’t count how many times in the last few years the ‘official’ news turned out to be wrong. BUT if it’s Dr. Luke, I think that’s a good choice.

  • Kariann Hart

    Idol needs to use their successes with their past Idols. For example, for BROADWAY week bring in Constantine to mentor. Who would know more than our Tony nominated alumni?

  • maymay

    Dr. Luke is handsome and cute but it seems like he has a strong personality for producing music so some people think he is arrogant. The point is if Dr. Luke will be Simon 2.0(being mean to some contestants) or Nicki 2.0(being mean to other judges) or whatever?

    I hope the Idol producer learns the lesson that the chemistry among judges is the most important thing. Keith and JLo are easygoing judges. Dr. Luke should try to blend with them.

  • Kariann Hart

    I think after all the publicity and reading the ICount surveys, TPTB know that chemistry and an eye for talent is a must for the judging panel. I hope this will work out for Dr. Luke.

  • Bugme Nomor

    I imagine their research showed JLo is more acceptable to the Idol audience than Nicki and Mariah. Not that I wanted her back.

  • Guest

    Dr who? I never of this Dr Luke before. Bring in Dr Oz, Dr Phil or even Dr J. At least I heard of them. Good riddance!

  • Bugme Nomor

    I agree with you about the qualities Adam would likely bring as a judge. But him being gay would have only generated “buzz” if a sizable portion of the Idol audience found that objectionable.

  • Bugme Nomor

    Talent and marketability are not the same thing.

  • Bugme Nomor

    MJ said some months ago when “Vote for the Worst” shut down that she was considering the same. Traffic was off and if some changes she planned on implementing didn’t help, the site likely wouldn’t be worth her while.

  • Montavilla

    I’m becoming reconciled to this latest panel. Randy’s off, which hopefully means an end to catchphrases.

    Jennifer can be a bit… opportunistic, but she can also be really smart and direct, if she chooses. I would love to see her be as strong as I know she can be. Which is something I can’t say about Mariah or Ellen. So, there’s at least two judges she’s better than.

    I don’t mind Keith, and I’m cautiously optimistic about Dr. Luke.

    And slightly bored by the total of them. Which is good — because it means the show will have to derive interest and drama from the contestants.

  • Montavilla

    I wouldn’t say I don’t care about Idol. But I will say that I no longer care about the judges.

    I think that’s a good thing.

  • http://www.mjsbigblog.com/ mjsbigblog

    This is still just a report. It won’t be official until the press release from FOX is sitting in my box.

  • Pat S

    The guy is a plagiarizer. He’s under lawsuits all the time for jacking tunes from lesser known bands and artists and repackaging it for the pop stars. No thanks!

  • Kariann Hart

    Pat S, would you happen to have any links? This interests me as Dr. Luke has been receiving good press. Thanks!

  • Kariann Hart

    Hopefully, these changes have paid off for you, MJ!

  • Niall

    I’m content with the judges panel. I would have swapped out JLo with someone else, but the fact is the contestants from seasons 10 and 11 LOVED her and to this day speak glowingly of her advice and how supportive she was of them. She did something right and did have a good eye for talent. I’m going to consider season 13 Keith’s first “real” season after he got caught in the clustermess of last year. And I’m thanking my lucky stars we’re probably getting Dr. Luke, a fresh face and a current producer, instead of a polarizing or obnoxious 3rd judge. I’m interested to see how this all turns out.

  • springboard2

    From pics, Dr Luke seems like someone who has a personality and also his appearance is cool and current … and he is not bad looking…
    He would give me an incentive to at least give a chance to the new season whereas I was ready to give up for good after JLo plus Randy were announced.

  • DragonFly

    ‘Or that Randy will be pre-taped instead of live so maybe he can get some better lines written for him.”

    This is a better slant for Randy returning as mentor—slipped my mind that those segments were prerecorded. That will really help eliminate some of his unforgivable repeat phrases..

  • Mateja Praznik

    I don’t put that much stock into that “exclusivity” part of Dr Luke – Sony deal because he is still free to work with Katy Perry and Jessie J. But, part of that deal is Dr Luke’s label imprint. Basically, someone who has a record label with Sony is now going to scout talent for Interscope.

  • Pat S

    Sure. He’s been in the news for years over it. Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend”. Britney Spears’ “Hold it Against Me.” Chris Daughtry’s “Feels Like Tonight,” and Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”. All have been accused of being stolen from smaller bands/artists. He got sued by The Bellamy Brothers. He’s never been formally convicted and fined with anything, but with the copious amount of times in which he has been accused, there’s obviously some (if not a whole lot of truth) truth in it.


    Just this week, He’s in more hot water again. He’s one of a few producers being accused of taking Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” and making it into Katy Perry’s “Roar”.


  • Axxxel

    Unfortunately these two songs from Dr Luke became the singles of Adam’s album and did not really become hits.. Too much trust in the magic of Dr Luke…

  • Mateja Praznik

    RCA obviously had no faith in Adam’s co-written songs. That’s why they found songs from Claude Kelly and Bruno Mars for him and got Dr Luke to produce them. Dr Luke did his job. BTIKM was an awful choice, I don’t know what RCA’s A&R was thinking. Killed the era in one move.

  • voco_qara

    None of that will matter when he’s a judge. All people will care about is his personality, his chemistry with the other judges and whether or not he’ll give good advice to the contestants.

    And a lot of great artists have been accused of plagiarism – Timbaland, Pharrell, Nirvana, Radiohead, led Zeppelin etc. Im sure Luke has produced hits and good songs without any accusations of plagiarism hanging over them. So I would say he is still quiet talented and however questionable his methods are, he at least knows what sells in mainstream music.

  • Karen C

    Maybe Interscope isn’t going to be the label to sign the winner this year? It could be going back to Sony, or on of it’s labels. That could be another reason why Jimmy Iovine is no longer with the show. I think Randy Jackson worked with Sony in the past also.

  • Axxxel

    So it shouldn’t matter that a less experienced Idol alumn could be a judge because according to you, all people will care about is his personality, chemistry with his colleages and good advice.

  • Mateja Praznik

    I doubt it. RCA literally couldn’t wait to be done with Idol and they’ve been cleaning house by dropping Idols for years. Plus, Sony has X Factor.

  • Incipit

    I never read that the Interscope deal with Idol hinged on Iovine appearing on the TV show – UMG has a contract to sign the winner – but obviously they are not obligated to do more than that.

    There really are only three Major Label options for these reality music competition shows right now – the Big Three:

    Universal Music Group (part of EMI’s recorded music division absorbed into UMG)

    Sony Music Entertainment (EMI Music Publishing absorbed into Sony/ATV Music Publishing)

    Warner Music Group (EMI’s Parlophone and EMI/Virgin Classics labels absorbed into WMG on 1st July 2013)

    There are plenty of ‘music groups’ – but they belong to one of these entities. Search WIKI for ‘record label’.

  • Karen C

    Sony doesn’t have anyone signed from X Factor US right now. Well, maybe still Melanie Amaro, but they haven’t released anything. So I doubt if that would be a factor.
    I know this is a longshot, but maybe since X Factor has not been a success in the US, they think that having Dr Luke as a judge on Idol will help them find pop stars. It’s just one explaination for why they would hire him if it mattered that he works mainly for Sony labels, and Randy too. Maybe it doesn’t matter.
    As far as I know, nothing has definately been announced about which label they will be under. I do think Interscope has done a much better job than Sony did, at least with Phillip and Scotty, so it’s not that I hope they are back.

  • Mateja Praznik

    They have signed artists from X Factor US.
    Emblem 3 – Syco/Columbia
    Fifth Harmony – Syco/Epic

    Plus, there are many artists from X Factor UK:
    Leona Lewis – Syco/RCA
    One Direction – Syco/Columbia
    Olly Murs – Epic UK/Columbia
    Cher Lloyd – Syco/Epic

    RCA also has Syco’s producer/singer/rapper Labrinth.

    Considering how hard it was for RCA to get some radioplay for Idols, I really doubt they want to get involved with that mess again.

    X Factor at least has some potential to produce pop artists.

  • Karen C

    I know Interscope has had the contract the past 3 years, but I haven’t read where they have the contract for next year, unless I missed something.
    And I’m sure it was never in the contract that Iovine was to appear on the show if they were signed to UMG. That alone wouldn’t make me wonder if something had changed.

  • Karen C

    I was talking about US. None of the winners of US X Factor have been successful here.

  • springboard2

    Yes, Sony has X Factor, but we don’t know their relationship with idol, and which party was behind the split. There was obviously conflict of interest between Idol and Sony with the launch of US X factor, but more on Idol side because they would have feared that Sony wouldn’t not have supported their artists well.
    Also Sony does drop X factor alums as much as Idol alums.

  • Listening

    I really want to know if Jennifer Hudson is a judge. I want to know how much we should believe in these rumors that spread about judges b/c in the past we’ve gotten multiple reports she’s done deal and in.

    I think she’s the only way Ryan can save face after saying something like oh people would be pleased w/ the idol judges b/c so far we have JLo who is same old same old, Keith Urban who was overshadowed and part of the controversial panel from last season and apparently this guy called DR.Luke who nobody even knows. Ummm I don’t get it he sounded so sure we’d be happy… But if you could/did Jennifer that could shut a lot of people up it becase it would be like appeasing/throwing a bone/acknowledging all the people who have asked/demanded/suggested bringing back past Idols to judge.

    Jennifer Hudson is a real success story she triumphed from anonymity. It’s like after Idol most forgot about her then BAM she’s every where winning awards and becoming one of the go to big voices for a moment. I’m intrigued to see how she’d do as a judge, so I hope the rumors are true.

  • zebracrunk

    Do you read this blog for The Voice or X Factor? Otherwise, I’m confused as to why you would keep coming here if you don’t like Idol. (not trying to be rude)

  • mmb

    I think Kevin Reilly pretty clearly stated at the TCAs that Jennifer H wasn’t going to be a judge.

  • Listening

    Oh thanks for telling me I hadn’t watched the TCAs so I had no idea.

    Well it’s kind of funny but that’s actually a little deflating.
    Maybe there isn’t even gonna be a fourth judge and they’ll go back to just 3. I’m almost of the mindset of why even bother w/ a fourth judge it’ll probably be someone who’ll just dissappoint a lot of people so just forget it. Maybe a bit pessimistic but eh whatev.

    Whelp then I have no idea why Ryan was so confident we’d be pleased w/ the panel.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I think the idol ptb and Ryan think j lo makes idol fans happy…..”

    Idol ptb = Simon Fuller (JLo’s manager) ;)

  • fuzzywuzzy


  • TLKC

    He was just saying what he was supposed to say. Diplomatic.

  • https://twitter.com/apezpril apezpril

    Excited about what dr. Luke can bring to the table.

  • Sassycatz

    First off, I think Idol works better with a three judge panel. Almost everytime we’ve had four judges, the panel’s interaction was off kilter. Plus, it’s just more yakkity yak and less singing.

    Second, I don’t care that Jennifer Hudson has won awards. Winning awards does not make you a good judge and she’s never shown herself to be a scintillating speaker, with wit and bon mots flowing off her tongue. Let alone that she’s some great judge of singing talent. *IF* we were going to go that route, there are at least a handful of Idols with a more sparkling personality and/or more clever speaker. Furthermore, Jennifer Hudson wasn’t exactly a good Idol contestant and there was no indication afterwards that she was going to have the success she has now which feeds *directly* from a tailor-made role in a movie years later. What’s that got to do with winning Idol? If not for that *one* movie role, would anyone be considering her for this? Probably not.

  • elliegrll

    and apparently this guy called DR.Luke who nobody even knows

    I think that that’s a stretch. He’s been one of the most prolific and high profile producers in pop music. I doubt that his presence will bring in younger viewers, or change the perception that AI is a show that no longer appeals to a mass or younger audience. It would have been interesting if they had brought him in a few years ago, maybe having him on the show would have helped some of the alums break into the industry.

  • elliegrll

    I think that whenever someone is successful they are going to be accused of ripping off someone else. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t cases where this happens, but I doubt that Robin Thicke would be facing the prospect of being sued by Marvin Gaye’s family if Blurred Lines wasn’t a massive hit. If Robin is guilty of stealing a song, then the same is true of a lot of artists, including Gaye. There’s nothing new under the sun, and smart writers know how to sample from other writers and artists.

  • vdawg

    I don’t know him but he seems like a good fit.

  • Incipit

    “That alone wouldn’t make me wonder if something had changed.”

    OKay, fair enough, Karen C. It isn’t just Iovine not appearing on Idol… What else have you noticed that gave you reason to wonder? We don’t know how long UMG signed on for – but it’s still a fact that if it isn’t Interscope and it isn’t SONY, then only Warner remains of the Big Three…

  • iani

    . It would have been interesting if they had brought him in a few years ago, maybe having him on the show would have helped some of the alums
    break into the industry.

    I think so too, instead the producers put Ellen in the chair to help the show with some humorous judge-talks. She wasn’t even funny if I recall correctly, she was a so odd choice for me I couldn’t even pay attention to what she was saying there.

    Hope Dr. Luke to bring back the “business”- feel on the table, infuse some confidence to the contenders, increase the self-esteem that they are there giving their best not only for good TV and good company for super-judges, but also for some chases in the music industry.

  • Team Jessica Sanchez

    Seems like I may be the sole one here with this attitude, but I LOVE JLO coming back. I enjoyed Keith last year. And I have high hopes for Dr. Luke. Long Live American Idol. That.Is.All.

  • girlygirl

    I would doubt it. I can’t see them going back to the 4 judge format since it didn’t work well the last time they tried it. Looks like it will just be J-Lo, Keith and Dr. Luke.

  • Ria.

    Kara was annoying because she was trying to hard to be the replacement for Simon. She kept butting in when others, such as Simon, were talking. Oh, yeah, and she loves sappy songs which caused me to generally disagree with her critiques. I have no idea if Dr Luke will be anything like her.

  • voco_qara

    I would say personality, chemistry with other judges is more important than qualifications and experience to viewers. It’s all people will talk about during the season. Mariah, for example, is one of the most successful and talented singers in the world but all people talked about when she was a judge was her personality, chemistry with other judges and that her comments made no sense.
    Experience is still important but nobody will care about Dr Luke’s experience and controversies if he’s got a good TV personality. You’re a good judge or a bad judge based on that more than anything else to viewers

  • Ria.

    “I think she’s the only way Ryan can save face after saying something like oh people would be pleased w/ the idol judges”

    Honestly, I don’t think JHud would be a huge hit with the Idol audience. She finished 7th in a season 10 years ago. She is famous for a movie role and being a spokes person for Weight Watchers. I don’t follow her but the few times I have seen her in appearances she is a truly great singer but I have never noticed any witty banter.
    I DO think Idol should continue to bring back past contestants as often as possible, to sing and maybe mentor. It only helps their brand to support their own and to have a link to their past seasons. That includes JHud. But I do not think having her as a judge is something the average viewer would be excited about.

  • Heart Throb 4U™

    I’m glad that Dr Luke is on the panel. The fact that he’s unknown to many people (Including me) make it that more interesting and exciting! Kudos to Dr Luke, I’ll be watching. Keith and J.lo seems like a fun nice pairing too!

  • Karen C

    Since it sounds like Dr Luke has a contract to be a producer with Sony, that’s what I meant. That maybe it’s a sign Idol is going back to using Sony.
    Not that I think that’s a good thing…..

  • Q_3

    While I a very glad Scooter Braun is not going to be a judge — I cannot understand what Idol is thinking. Being a successful producer is really great but that does not make someone a good TV Realty Show judge.

    Dr. Luke is a very nice, knowledgeable person but he is not very interesting as a public speaker.

    With this panel — I guess JLo will be the tough judge? Or maybe Randy will do that?

  • Q_3

    Yes, I agree that is the hand of Simon.

  • chloe18

    Just don’t get it. The new producers created one of the best lineups for the VMAs in years so I don’t see how this judging panel and Randy is the best they could do for idol. I’ll stick with what I’ve been doing, watch a video here if I hear about a great performance while I’m on the blog.

  • Listening

    Well of course SOMEBODY knows him but the majority of the public don’t. I’m guessing the people in the business know him but not your average Joe.

    For the record I wanted something new and when I thought it was between him and Will I Am I said I preferred him.

    I hope he’s good I don’t even care if he’s boring I just want him to give good advice.

  • Face
  • Karen C

    I just saw it on E!, they have a ticker from E ! news on the screen sometimes.

  • Jason Gorny

    we should get an announcement tomorrow hopefully!

  • zebracrunk

    Most of us don’t count anything as official until FOX releases a press statement.

  • Jason Gorny

    hopefully today!

  • Ally
  • Larc

    “Yesterday American Idol announced their newest judge to be…drum roll please…Dr.Luke.”

    Huh??? American Idol announced it? And nobody here picked up on that? I don’t think so!

  • gem2477

    I wouldn’t mind a panel of JLo, Dr. Luke and Keith. Nothing could be worse than the last panel lol

  • Karen C

    Hollywood Reporter just tweeted that the deal with Dr Luke will not judge American Idol, mostly because he was signed with Sony, he also said because of time.