INGLEWOOD (AP) — Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler will join Randy Jackson as “American Idol” judges next season, after months of turnover and speculation about the future of TV’s top-rated show.
With pomp rivaling that of a U.S. Supreme Court appointment, Fox finally assembled the new pieces of the “Idol” panel that will be returned to its original three-member format for season 10.
Actress-singer-dancer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Tyler will have the job of trying to match the offbeat chemistry of former judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.
“This is ‘American Idol’!” host Ryan Seacrest said after the new judges joined him on stage at the Forum arena, where the final national audition for next season’s singing contest was held Wednesday.
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The announcement was made before a crowd of several thousand who had gathered to try out, some cheering loudly for the cameras and all hoping to make it to the next round, when they’ll be judged by
the revamped panel. The mini-show was streamed live online by Fox.
Tyler said he wanted to join the show because “it’s being a part of something much bigger than yourself. … I want to bring some rock to this rollercoaster and show if you’ve got the heart, the talent, the feeling to do this you could be the next American Idol.”
“I’m so excited,” said Lopez, who scored a reported $12 million to join the show. “I’m looking for the next Michael Jackson.”
The likely Lopez-Tyler pairing had been reported so frequently that Fox would have had to produce Betty White and 50 Cent instead to generate any surprise.
Cowell announced last January that he planned to leave to launch a new talent show for Fox in 2011, with newcomers Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi exiting this summer. Abdul left in 2009 over a contract dispute.
Jackson will be the only original judge when “American Idol” returns in January.
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