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'American Idol' officially reveals Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as new judges
Randy Jackson will continue to judge, while Jimmy Iovine will be an in-house mentor
Well that, kids, was mighty anti-climactic.
Formally confirming rumors that were reported as fact months ago, FOX announced on Wednesday (September 22) morning that actress/singer/former Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will be joining Sole Survivor Randy Jackson on the judging panel for next spring's 10th installment of "American Idol."
Slightly less over-reported (but still strongly rumored) previously was the news that Interscope Geffen A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine will serve as this season's in-house mentor, working with contestants throughout the show's run.
The formal reveal of the "American Idol" judges were made at Los Angeles' Forum on Wednesday after many weeks of reports that Lopez and Tyler were signed, sealed and delivered, followed by several weeks of reports that Lopez might not be so set-in-stone after all, followed by several more weeks of reports that everything was copacetic again between Lopez and FOX.
Through it all, the network retained a strict "no comment" policy, telling reporters at this summer's Television Critics Association press tour that no announcement would be made until all contracts are signed. That time appears to be now.
"For nine years I’ve enjoyed watching artists compete to get a meaningful chance to achieve their dreams," says Lopez in the FOX statement. 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's contract came accompanied by a new deal with both 20th Century Fox Films and FOX Broadcasting company for her Nuyorican Productions shingle.
"We’re incredibly excited to have Jennifer join the Fox family," states Peter Rice, Chairman of Entertainment for Fox Networks Group. "From the worlds of dance and music to television, films and fashion, she is a global superstar with iconic and captivating style, along with impressive insight on how to reach and move audiences worldwide."
But now back to canned statements from other folks on the "American Idol" judging team.
"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," contributes 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."
And Randy Jackson, the only returning "Idol" judge after the departures of Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi, adds "I can’t believe it’s been 10 years of the greatest show in the world. I am looking forward to this next season; we are going to knock it out of the park. Season 10 is going to be hot!"
Sigh. Oh, Randy.
Cowell left the show, as previously announced, in May after serving as judge for all nine "Idol" seasons. DeGeneres departed after one season in July, while DioGuardi's exit after two seasons was revealed in September.
"Jennifer was a terrific mentor on 'Idol' -- one of the best we’ve ever had -- and we’ve always dreamed that she would take a seat at the judges’ table," states FOX reality guru Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. "America is going to love her on this show because she’s impossibly glamorous, yet totally relatable, and she understands what these contestants will be going through as they pursue their dreams. Steven Tyler is, hands down, one of the most successful rock artists in history, and he is the epitome of what rock-and-roll is all about: bold, outrageous, creative and passionate. With an unprecedented career and innate knowledge of the music industry, Steven will definitely add a unique edge to the new judges’ panel next to Randy, who understands every aspect of developing talent and performing.” He added, “Jimmy Iovine is the most impressive mentor we could have ever wished for on the series. In his role at Interscope Geffen A&M, Jimmy would be developing these young artists anyway, so now we’ll get an even deeper look at how someone is transformed into a star."
"American Idol" will return to FOX for its 10th season, starting this January.