USMagazine, Saturday, August 31, 2013, 9:52am (PDT)
It's official! After an exhausting game of musical chairs, Harry Connick Jr. will be the third and final American Idol judge for Season 13, a source confirms to Us Weekly. (The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the story.) The singer and actor will be joining Jennifer Lopez, 44, and Keith Urban, 45, who have already solidified their spots on the panel. Former judge Randy Jackson, 57, will replace Jimmy Iovine as mentor, the source adds. Lopez is back after serving as a judge in 2011 and 2012 and Urban is returning for a second consecutive year. His Season 12 team -- Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj -- both announced in May they would be exiting the show after just one year.
Connick Jr., 45, -- who has won three Grammy awards and sold over 25 million albums worldwide -- hinted he would be joining the reality show when he retweeted a comment from Ellen DeGeneres on Aug. 29. "@HarryConnickJr. might be a judge on American Idol! He loves to follow in my footsteps. It's like having a boring little brother," the TV host wrote. Connick also revealed in May what he would bring to the table if offered the opportunity. "I think you need to be completely honest and I think you need to be diplomatic," he said. "I think there’s no reason to be mean, but it's called being a judge."
The news comes just two weeks after Us revealed that record producer Dr. Luke was close to signing a deal. The plan eventually fell through when he ran into trouble with Sony Music, which he signed a contract with in 2011. (Sony is in direct competition with Universal, the company that has a contract with American Idol to sign the winners.) Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am was also speculated to fill the remaining seat as well as talent manager Scooter Braun. "Jennifer [Lopez] loves Scooter and feels he'd be an excellent choice," a source previously told Us.