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'American Idol' reportedly may scrap plan to bring back former finalists as judges


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/26/2013 

American Idol may reportedly be scrapping the idea of bringing back finalists from seasons past to serve as judges on next season's panel.

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Reports have been circulating for weeks as to who will fill the open spots on the show's upcoming thirteenth-season judging panel following the confirmed departures of Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Names that have been tossed around by Fox reportedly include Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, and Clay Aiken.

However, according to TheWrap, the plan has been put on hold if not dumped entirely. Clarkson's representative denied the pop singer's participation late last month, while Lambert reportedly has yet to be formally approached.

In addition to Fox recently hiring Swedish Idol producer Per Blankens, a European television producer, to replace Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick as one of American Idol's new executive producers, the show's 19 Entertainment production company is also reportedly close to signing deals with producers Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager.

The producing pair have previously worked for MTV and VH1 and also produced a couple of music award shows.

Carey and Minaj announced late last month they will not return as American Idol judges next season. They served as members of Idol's twelfth-season judging panel alongside Jackson, who was the first judge to confirm he's leaving the show, and Keith Urban, who has stated he would like to return as a judge next season if given the opportunity.

It remains unclear whether Urban, who has publicly expressed his desire to return for another Idol season, will be invited to come back.

In early May, Fox had confirmed prior reports that the network was considering a drastic shakeup that could replace American Idol's entire judging panel for the show's next season in an attempt to boost its steady-declining ratings.    

(Photo credit Fox)


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