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Jennifer Lopez reportedly agrees to return for upcoming 'American Idol'

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/11/2011 

Jennifer Lopez has reportedly agreed to return to the judging panel for American Idol's upcoming eleventh season.

According to an E! News source, the announcement of the former tenth-season Idol judge's return could be made within a matter of days.

Lopez -- who joined the show as part of last season's judging shakeup alongside fellow judge Steven Tyler -- had teased she'd be making a big announcement on NBC's Today show this morning and disappointed Idol fans, who had assumed she'd be announcing her decision whether to return to the show, when she promoted an upcoming concert instead.

Lopez revealed she will perform in a two-day concert in Las Vegas this September, joining artists including Tyler, Lady Gaga -- who mentored American Idol's Top 4 tenth-season finalists and will be appearing as a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance's current eighth season -- fourth-season Idol winner Carrie Underwood, and first-season Idol champion Kelly Clarkson.

Although Lopez declined to make her Idol announcement on Today, she promised they'll be the first to learn of the news when asked about her future plans.

"You know, I love working on American Idol, I love doing it," Lopez said. "I have no announcement to make as of this moment, but I promise, you guys will be the first [to know]."

According to reports, Lopez received $12 million to serve as a member of Idol's panel and is looking for an increase to return. Unlike Tyler, who signed a multi-year-contract, Lopez's judging deal was only for one season.
The singer and actress had previously made "on the fence" comments about reprising her judging role.

"I don't know. I haven't been forced to make a decision and I'm glad about that. I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot of other things happening. It's going to come down to making a choice of what I really want to do for the next year. We're not really at the breaking point of like, 'You have to make a decision right now!' So, I'm not," Lopez said during an appearance on a BBC Radio program in the U.K.

American Idol had reportedly begun discussing possible replacements for Lopez in case they could not reach a deal to have her return for the reality competition's eleventh season.

While Lopez had suggested her busy schedule would prevent her from making a future commitment to Idol, InTouch Weekly subsequently reported that husband Marc Anthony's desire to have her spend more time with their family was the real reason she may not return.

"Jennifer signed a one-year contract with an option to renew," a source told InTouch in its July 4 issue. "She's ready to commit to a few more seasons because she loves the job and the money, but Marc wants her to quit so she can spend more time with him."

(Photo credit Fox)

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