American Idol 15: Ryan Seacrest Says All Judges Will Return (UPDATED)

American Idol 15 Hollywood Week continues in Los Angeles, and on Thursday, it was press day. The big news on the Red Carpet? Ryan Seacrest revealed to Access Hollywood that ALL the judges will be returning, at some point, for the final season.

“I’ve spoken to all of them recently and we as a team have talked to them about coming back to do something for the final season. They are going to do it it’s just a matter of figuring what to do with them.”

UPDATE: Access Hollywood has updated the post to say “all three original judges will return in come capacity” which sounds more like it.  In other words, Ryan’s remarks in the quote were ONLY referring to the three original judges, Randy Paula and Simon. That sounds more like it. Media outlets are totally jumping the gun on this one. However, I wouldn’t count out some of the others, like Steven Tyler, Kara DioGuardi, or even Ellen Degeneres returning.

AH assumes Ryan means all of them and goes ahead to list every judge that ever appeared on the show. I’d be very surprised if Mariah Carey or Nicki Minaj returned. Well, maybe Nicki would agree to perform on the finale if she’s promoting something. But Mariah has badmouthed the show several times in the time since she and Nicki openly battled on the Season 12 panel. Of course, according to Mariah, none of the mayhem was her fault. To be honest, as far as I’m concerned? Please stay away, Mimi.

Ellen DeGeneres’ time on the show was brief. She appeared on Season 9 and she didn’t join the proceedings until Hollywood week. Her stint wasn’t very well received, and she’s gone on record to say she didn’t enjoy the time she spent “critiquing” contestants. But she’s good friends with Seacrest. I can’t imagine he didn’t ask her. She’s a fan of the show. She could return.

Kara DioGuardi sat on the panel for two years, Season 8 & 9. Her long winded critiques, and weird flirting with Simon Cowell, turned some fans off. But she didn’t leave the show on bad terms. I bet she comes back. Steven Tyler, Season 10 and 11 judge, has already returned to Idol to perform. He’s on Idol mentor, Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records label as a solo country artist. He’ll be back, for sure.

Of course, it’s the original three, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, fans are eager to see together–even if just for nostalgia’s sake. Sure, Randy’s critiques became stale and rote after a couple of years, Simon slept-walked through his final years on the panel, and Paula’s loopiness and non-sequiturs and inability to tell if a singer had performed one song or two. tried fans’ patience. But the trio had chemistry, and sat together on that panel for eight straight years!  For better or for worse, they ARE American Idol.

And for everything that is good and holy, American Idol. PLEASE BRING BACK BRIAN DUNKLEMAN! The season 1 co-host deserves to have his place in American Idol history acknowledged!

As you ponder the judges’ return, take in these behind the scenes images from the American Idol 15 Hollywood Week. Last. Ever. Sniff.

The singers arrived earlier this week, and so far we haven’t heard about a mass exodus–which means major cuts may not have happened yet. Click this link for Adam’s latest American Idol 15 spoilers.

WHO CARES ABOUT RYAN Seacrest’s DAMN GREEN JUICE! Who is that singing in the background?

An Ode to WGWG. This could be the enduring image of American Idol! Harry wants to know where the pianos are.

lunch break at @americanidol hollywood week… where are the piano players?!? #idol A photo posted by Harry Connick, Jr. (@harryconnickjr) on







About mj santilli 35048 Articles
Founder and editor of, 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!