American Idol producers must be breathing a sigh of relief today, having finally found their third judge for the show. Harry Connick Jr. has officially signed on for Season 13, joining Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez on the panel.
The question of who would judge Season 13 had been a hot topic recently, particularly as we got closer and closer to January without any sign of the producers filling the seats that Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Randy Jackson previously occupied.
We first heard that producers were considering Harry on August 28; and just yesterday, a source told The Hollywood Reporter that the 45-year-old, multi-platinum jazz singer (and frequent actor) had signed on the dotted line. But now we have the official word from Fox.
Fox chairman Kevin Reilly describes Harry as "a bona-fide musical genius and fantastic Idol mentor whose honesty and expertise can help turn these hopefuls into stars."
We knew for weeks that Jennifer Lopez was returning to the panel, but Fox's announcement this morning marks the first confirmation from Fox that the 44-year-old would be gracing the Idol judges' table (after taking Season 12 off).
Now that the panel is locked in, production for Season 13 commences immediately. The trio of judges starts work today, Sept. 3, for the first round of auditions in Boston.
It won't be the first time Harry has appeared on the show, as he has guest-mentored contestants twice in the past and taken the Idol stage himself in 2010 for a performance of "And I Love Her."
But do you love him? Do you think he's a good addition to the Idol team? Let us know below!
Source: Fox press release