Keith Urban to return to American Idol; Jennifer Lopez close to Idol return

Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez

Keith Urban will return to American Idol.

While the country crooner’s fellow judges—Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Randy Jackson—all quit the panel after the last series, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed Keith’s return at a Television Critics Association session in Beverly Hills.

He told reporters the reality TV show "really became too much about the judges" and added "the show’s always been about the contestants."

He also revealed former judge Jennifer Lopez is in talks to return to American Idol for a third season.

The 44-year-old singer quit the show in 2012 after two seasons but is considering returning for a third stint after opening talks with Fox.

A source told People: "Jennifer is very close to signing a deal with Fox to return to American Idol next season.

"Both Fox and Jennifer are very happy about this and want it to happen very much.


"She couldn’t return last year because she had committed to a world tour. But now that the tour is over, she has more time to raise her family, do movies and pursue television projects."

Although it was claimed Jennifer had opened talks with NBC about rival show, The Voice, insiders insist that was never an option.

The source added: "Jennifer never had discussions with NBC about being a judge. She was approached by NBC about performing but had to turn it down because of scheduling conflicts."

After Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj quit the show earlier this year, Jennifer admitted she was open to the idea of a return as she is so emotionally attached to the series.

She said: "I don’t know what’s happening over there. I don’t know. We will see. I’m always open to the infinite possibilities that the universe has to offer. So you never know.


"I was emotional about [leaving]. I just had such a good time there. It fit ... I felt like family [and] I get emotionally attached."

X FACTOR. Kevin Reilly was then asked about the changing panel of Fox’s other pop star search show, The X Factor, with Simon Cowell the only original judge left.

Speaking about this year’s line-up, which sees Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland join Simon and Demi Lovato, he said: "I don’t know that [the panel has] been a problem per se. You’re trying to find four judges trying to find the right chemistry, I think the panel for the most part last year worked... Simon is a perfectionist. Demi was a great piece of the puzzle ... this year we’ve really got right."


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