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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 11

Jennifer Lopez returning to 'American Idol,' Nigel Lythgoe announces

By Reality TV World staff, 08/10/2011 

Jennifer Lopez's American Idol return is now all but official.

American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has confirmed the singer and actress has reached an agreement to reprise her judging role for the show's eleventh season.

"Do you want to go ahead and do the Jennifer announcement here, or are we still waiting?" Idol host Ryan Seacrest asked Lythgoe during a Wednesday morning appearance on his On-Air with Ryan Seacrest radio show.

"Um, well, no, I believe we're still waiting for the official announcement.  But I am delighted to say that all three judges -- along with the brilliant host of American Idol -- [are] back for the next season," Lythgoe said.

"There you have it, ladies and gentlemen!  Thanks Nigey, I'll see you soon," Seacrest replied.

Reports that Lopez -- who joined American Idol as part of last season's judging shakeup alongside fellow judge Steven Tyler -- was near an agreement to return for the upcoming season had first surfaced last month (unlike Tyler, who signed a multi-year-contract, Lopez's judging deal was only for one season).

In June, Lopez had said she was "on the fence" about continuing with American Idol.

But while Lopez -- who recently announced she and husband Marc Anthony are divorcing and ending their seven-year marriage -- had suggested her busy schedule was the reason she wasn't sure she would return, InTouch Weekly had subsequently reported Anthony's desire to have her spend more time with him was the real cause of her hesitation.

Lopez was reportedly paid $12 million to serve as a member of Idol's tenth-season panel and is expected to receive upwards of $20 million a year to return, according to recent reports.

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