Today, June 23, “American Idol” revealed more big news about Season 14. TV Line reported that all three judges – Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr., and Jennifer Lopez will all be back for the 2015 season. Host Ryan Seacrest will also be back for his 14th season on the show. Randy Jackson, who served as a judge up until last year, when he made the change over to an in-house mentor, was not included in today’s announcement. It is currently unknown if he is set to return.
The official “American Idol” Facebook page published the news as well. They commented that Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. are one of the strongest judging panels ever on the show and that they look forward to watching them find more talent for next season. Even 21st Century Fox’s Senior Vice President, David Hill, weighed in with kind words regarding the judges and host, Ryan Seacrest:
Jennifer, Keith, Harry and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I’m thrilled that they are returning to American Idol for another season. Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream.
Just last week, “Idol” announced a special “True Believer” twist for Season 14: each contestant will be asked to select someone from their lives who has supported them in their dreams of becoming a musician or pushed them to audition for “American Idol.” Then, the “True Believer” of the show’s winning contestant will win a $50,000 award.
The second round of auditions kicks off this week in Louisiana. This round of auditions will continue on through the summer, with the bus tour starting back up again in July. The judges will not join the process until the end of summer and into early fall, when the third round of auditions is set to begin.
Although there have been talks of the show shrinking down to just one episode per week after the auditions air next year, that news was also not confirmed in today’s announcement. With sinking ratings, “Idol” continues on with its attempt to revamp the show and reach the level success it once had while in its prime. They have found the judging panel and brought back the only host it has ever seen – now, what other changes may be in store?