American Idol Judges for 2014
It’s official--Jennifer Lopez is back. She is joined by Jazz great Harry Connick Jr. and of course they both join already signed Keith Urban. For a while there was a rumor circulating that in order to save money and save face Fox was going to utilize either past Idol winners or finalists as judges. This does seem logical given the ratings slide last year and the outrageous paychecks of the celebrity judges of the past few years. Although Idol is the veteran singing show, it is looking to its younger upstart The Voice- as well as other talent shows and featuring judges that draw viewers and not necessarily relying on the quality of the contestants or the format of the show. Just look what The Voice has done for Blake Shelton’s pop quotient; he is exposed to a much larger audience than his Country Music niche audience. Pairing him with opposites like Usher and Christine Arguilera was genius.
Also the double diva device didn’t exactly fly straight last year. I have hopes that the gorgeous, scintillating Jennifer Lopez will look great nestled in between the unique handsomeness of both Urban and Connick Jr.
This gives me hope for the new season. It gives me something to look forward to in January other than a trip to Florida and a tax refund.
HERE IS THE FULL PRESS RELEASE FROM FOX:
Grammy Award-winning and platinum-selling recording artist, actress, movie and television producer and entrepreneur Jennifer Lopez returns to AMERICAN IDOL XIII as a judge. Lopez will be joined by Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning multi-platinum singer, musician, songwriter, composer and film/television and Broadway actor Harry Connick, Jr. The two will sit on the IDOL judges’ panel with previously announced judge Keith Urban, the four-time Grammy Award-winning country artist who has sold more than 15 million albums.
Rounding out the team is IDOL veteran Randy Jackson, who will lend his industry and IDOL expertise to the contestants as an in-house mentor. Once again, the team will be led by Emmy Award-nominated host Ryan Seacrest, who has guided the IDOL contestants and judges through each season’s incredible journey.
Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company said, “AMERICAN IDOL has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, 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.
“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.”
“Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all,” said Randy Jackson. “Season 1-3 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America.”
“I think this season of IDOL is gonna be a blast,” said Keith Urban. “New team, new energy and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance!”
“I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the AMERICAN IDOL XIII family. Our new producers, judging panel and mentor are all fired up for this season,” said Ryan Seacrest. “I’ve already witnessed some amazingly talented contestants from around the country during our early auditions, cementing my belief that a new superstar is well within our sights.”
IDOL hopefuls will meet the AMERICAN IDOL XIII team when the auditions travel to Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Detroit, Omaha, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. AMERICAN IDOL XIII debuts in January 2014 on FOX.
About Jennifer Lopez:
Actress, entertainer, music artist, film and TV producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian Jennifer Lopez has been called one of the most powerful and celebrated celebrities in entertainment.
In 2012, Forbes Magazine named her the No. 1 Most Powerful Celebrity in the World.
Lopez has transformed the global music scene. She has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and starred in multiple box-office No. 1 films, including “Monster-In-Law” and “The Wedding Planner.” In 2001, “The Wedding Planner” was the nation's top-grossing film, while her album, “J.Lo,” was No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The two simultaneous No. 1 honors made Lopez the first woman in history to have a No. 1 movie and No. 1 album in the same week.
In May 2011, Lopez released the album “LOVE?,” The first single, “On The Floor,” also featuring Pitbull, became a worldwide phenomenon. This song shot to No. 1 in 18 countries and became the most downloaded song of her career. The music video set an all-time record, making Lopez the first female artist on online video site Vevo to rack up 100 million views in the shortest amount of time. The music video has become the most watched music video by any female artist in the history of YouTube, logging more than 686 million views.
She made her feature film debut in the highly acclaimed “Mi Familia,” then earned widespread acclaim for her work in the title role of “Selena,” which brought her a Golden Globe Award nomination. Her film credits include Lasse Hallström’s “An Unfinished Life,” with Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman; Oliver Stone's “U-Turn”; “Maid In Manhattan”; “Money Train”; Francis Ford Coppola’s “Jack,” with Robin Williams; “Blood and Wine,” opposite Jack Nicholson; Luis Mandoki’s “Angel Eyes”; “The Cell”; Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight,” with George Clooney; Michael Apted’s “Enough”; and “Anaconda.” Playing the role of actress and producer, she starred in the feature films “El Cantante,” a drama about the life of salsa legend Hector Lavoe, and “Bordertown,” opposite Antonio Banderas. In 2011, she starred in the romantic comedy “The Back-up Plan.”
About Harry Connick, Jr.:
Harry Connick, Jr. is a rarity in the realm of entertainment, exemplifying excellence in every aspect of his multi-faceted career. He has won three Grammy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards and is a multiple-Tony Award nominee.
A New Orleans native, Connick began his career as a performer at the age of five. At 19, he signed with Columbia Records. His stunning piano technique and vivid musical imagination was easily recognized on his debut, self-titled album. Soon after, he released his follow-up album, “20,” and then found multi-platinum success with the soundtrack to “When Harry Met Sally…”
Connick’s continued musical success has spanned over the course of 29 albums, with sales totaling 28 million worldwide units. His most recent album, “Every Man Should Know,” was released in June 2013.
In addition to his burgeoning music career, Connick also began acting professionally. Among his feature film credits are “Little Man Tate,” “Copycat,” “Hope Floats,” “Memphis Belle,” “Independence Day,” “Life without Dick,” “Mickey,” “Basic,” “P.S. I Love You,” “New in Town” and “Dolphin Tale.” His voiceover skills also were featured in “My Dog Skip” and “The Iron Giant.” Next fall, he will be seen in “Dolphin Tale 2,” the sequel to 2011’s No. 1 hit family film.
On television, Connick is perhaps best known for his recurring role on “Will & Grace.” He also appeared in an arc of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and has graced audiences with his musical talents in several primetime specials, including “Harry for the Holidays,” the Emmy Award-winning PBS specials “Only You in Concert” and “Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway” and the animated tale “The Happy Elf.”
His Broadway career boasts equal recognition, having received Tony Award nominations as both composer/lyricist for the musical “Thou Shalt Not” and as the lead in the Tony Award-winning revival of “The Pajama Game.” He also has adapted “The Happy Elf” for children’s theater, starred in the Broadway revival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” and – on the 20th anniversary of his first Broadway concerts at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre - brought his live show for an extended residency at the Neil Simon Theatre.