“American Idol” and FOX have finally answered the question that’s been on everyone’s minds since Simon Cowell announced Season 9 of “Idol” would be his last — Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are joining the judges panel alongside Randy Jackson, the only original judge left.
Rumors have run rampant since Ellen DeGeneres announced in July that she would not return to the show and Kara DioGuardi announced her departure as well a few weeks ago. The two names coming up most often were Lopez and Tyler, so the official announcement does not come as much of a surprise.
In addition, Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, co-founder of Beats Audio and one of the world’s most successful and prolific music producers, will join “American Idol” as an in-house mentor. Throughout the season, “Idol” will go behind-the-scenes to feature Iovine working with and lending his expertise to the contestants as they compete to become the next “American Idol.”
Lopez’s deal also includes a first-look deal with the network and 20th Century Fox for TV and movie projects. “For nine years I’ve enjoyed watching artists compete to get a meaningful chance to achieve their dreams,” says Lopez. “I know from my own experience how hard it is to succeed, and I’m looking forward to discovering and nurturing that spirit in the many “American Idol” contestants I look forward to meeting this year.”
Lopez also says she’s “looking for the next Michael Jackson” in her “Idol” journey. We say, “Good luck with that!” And Tyler advises the contestants to “sing like you do when nobody’s looking.”
“I’ve been on tour for most of my life in a band with four guys who judge me every day. Sometimes it hurt, but it only made me stronger,” says Tyler. “I want to give everybody a little love before I decide who goes home heartbroken. If you don’t like what I say, don’t get mad, get better. I’m ready to bring some rock to this roller coaster and show these kids if they have the dream, the talent and the drive, they will be the next American Idol.”
FOX made the announcement Wednesday (Sept. 22) at its last-minute-addition Los Angeles auditions, and the new judges panel is on hand to take questions, along with host Ryan Seacrest and several producers. Look for video of the press conference and quotes from FOX later, but for now we have clips of the live announcement below.
Lopez is a noted singer, dancer, producer and actress. Her musical background lies mostly in R&B/dance music and she is a two-time Grammy nominee. Tyler has been Aerosmith’s frontman for more than 40 years, during which time the band has garnered numerous awards and nominations, including four Grammy awards.
What do you think of the judges, “Idol” fans? Are you glad that the wait is finally over? Check out the video below of Ryan Seacrest introducing new judge Steven Tyler
Photo credits: Getty Images