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Jennifer Hudson reportedly signs deal to serve as 'American Idol' judge

By Reality TV World staff, 05/24/2013 

Jennifer Hudson reportedly will be returning to American Idol and sitting at its judges' table next season.

The third-season American Idol finalist and Oscar-winning singer has signed a contract to serve as a judge on next year's thirteenth season of American Idol, E! News reported Friday.

In addition, former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is also reportedly close to signing a contract to be part of the Fox reality singing competition's thirteenth-season judging panel, which is expected to feature a completely new lineup consisting of only three judges.

Reports that American Idol was looking to have former finalists serve as thirteenth-season judges had first surfaced earlier this week, with E! News reporting Hudson and Clarkson were already "onboard" with the plan and Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken are being considered for the remaining judging position.

"It's Idol stars guiding the next generation," a Fox source told E! News about plan to replace twelfth-season American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.
Whether Lambert and Aiken will fill the final seat on American Idol's judging panel reportedly still remains unknown.

Fox is reportedly hoping the addition of such stars will ultimately boost its ratings, as American Idol has experienced a steady decline in viewership since it peaked in its sixth season.

The network has declined to comment on the reports, with a representative telling E! News, "We aren't commenting on the judge speculation." FremantleMedia also declined comment.

Clarkson was American Idol's original first-season winner, while Aiken and Lambert finished as runner-ups during the show's second and eighth seasons respectively. Hudson finished in seventh place during American Idol's third season but has gone on to have an acclaimed singing and acting career.

Lambert and Hudson both performed during Idol's twelfth-season finale, which aired last week, and Aiken took the stage during one of the edition's live results shows.

(Photo credit Fox)

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