Keith Urban IS returning to American Idol 13 as a judge, confirmed FOX president, Kevin Reilly, at today’s network presentation at the Television Critics Association tour in Beverly Hills.
O’Reilly also confirmed that Jennifer Lopez has been in talks with producers to return to the panel, but it is NOT a done deal.
“Keith is a really funny guy,” said Reilly, according to TV Guide, but there are NO DEALS WITH ANYONE ELSE SO FAR.
The rumors reported by The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap look to be true. I’m thinking that one of the sticking points with Jlo is money. I can’t imagine FOX is down with shelling out 15 million plus for her.
A panel made up of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Will.i.am is looking like a distinct possiblity. ETA: Both OMGInsider and E News are reporting that Will.i.am is in talks with Idol. and will likely round out a panel that also includes Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez.
Keith Urban tweeted, “Thrilled to be back on
@AmericanIdol with my pal @RyanSeacrest and dying to know who the other judges will be!!!!”
I’m OK with Keith returning, but I really didn’t care for Jennifer as a judge. Half the time she offered no real criticism. I don’t find her either sincere or personable. On The Voice U–where Will.i.am has been a coach for the past two seasons–he behaves like an annoying nutcase. I thought his mentoring on Idol in Season 10 was bizarre . He’ll do everything possible to pull focus, I’m afraid.
According to tweets, Reilly told the assembled journos that Idol “became too much about the judges, and hopes whatever new panel emerges is comfy and good, but NOT the focus.”
Also, Reilly hinted at “dynamic ideas to tinker” with the show’s format, especially in the middle rounds between the auditions and live performances. But that’s nothing new. Idol has been messing with the middle rounds for years, but I think the 3 week semi-final a la Season 4-7 was the cleanest and most entertaining of all the various formats.
Eh. We’ll see.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Reilly told reporters that “many of the rumors you’ve heard hold some water,” But when asked if Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert were in current negotiations, he told ET, “There have been conversations, we love the alumni to return to the show in some fashion, but there were availability issues in trying to line up what felt right.”
That sounds like a big fat NO.