At the San Francisco American Idol 13 auditions recently, host, Ryan Seacrest, was asked if Keith Urban would be returning to American Idol as judge this season. His answer was rather intriguing. It appears that the panel has already been chosen:
I was with Keith yesterday, we embraced, and said to each other ‘I hope we get to spend a lot of time together.’ He’s a great guy, and I’ve become a very good friend. I think, based on what I have heard. The audience that watches American Idol is going to be very excited about the panel that we’ve put together for this Season 13. Its a very special season. And I think you’ll see some good chemistry this year.
Well. That sounds like to me that Keith, who has expressed interest in returning, may once again sit on the panel. That Ryan is hinting at long time Idol fans being happy with the new panel, leads me to believe that at least one spot will be filled by an American Idol alum. It was widely reported that Jennifer Hudson, had already hammered out a deal with FOX, ready to be signed, but that the huge shakeup that saw the exit of FOX reality chief, Mike Darnell, and executive producers, Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick put her contract on hold.
Maybe the new team, which includes former Swedish Idol producer, Pers Blankens, and Darnell’s replacement, David Hill, have decided to sign Jennifer’s contract anyway. Or, depending on how big Adam Lambert’s new role on the upcoming season of Glee is, perhaps he’ll be pulling FOX double duty as an Idol judge. After all, he’d been rumored as a possible candidate for the Idol panel as well.
I’m sure more will be revealed. Or leaked, as the case may be. FOX is keeping a pretty tight lid on this so far. Kudos to them.
Ryan talks about Idol at about the 1:20 mark.