Jennifer Lopez returns to “American Idol”

FOX officially announced today that Jennifer Lopez would be returning to American Idol as a judge when the competition series returns for its 13th installment in January. Also announced was the fact that Lopez would be joined at the judges’ table by Harry Connick Jr.

The duo will judge along with the returning Keith Urban, who judged last season with Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Series veteran Randy Jackson, who had talked about leaving the show, will return, serving as an in-house mentor. Of course, Ryan Seacrest will again host the festivities. Jennifer Lopez had previously served as a judge on the show for two seasons (Seasons 10 and 11, in 2011 and 2012, with Steven Tyler).

American Idol has always been about discovering the next singing superstar,” said Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, “and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom and personality to do just that: Jennifer Lopez, the triple-threat global superstar who loves Idol and whom Idol fans love; Harry Connick, Jr., a bona-fide musical genius and fantastic Idol mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars; Keith Urban, a multi-Grammy-winning artist who was such a positive force on the show last season. We are also very excited to have our friend Randy Jackson now in a new role as mentor, and the captain of our team – the heart and soul of Idol – Ryan Seacrest returning as host.”

“#IDOL2014TheRemix,” tweeted Jennifer Lopez to fans.

“I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show,” said Harry Connick Jr. “And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way.”

American Idol XIII premieres in January 2014 on FOX. Auditions will travel to Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.

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American Idol XIII logo: © 2013 FOX

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