With potentially four open seats on the “American Idol” judges’ panel next season, the rumors are going into overdrive as to what happens next.
On Wednesday, it was reported that producers were considering recruiting some familiar faces who are also very familiar with the show to be judges — former contestants. Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken were among the “Idol” alumni named in the report.
Now it seems at least one former “Idol” star may already be signed on for the gig.
Season 3 finalist and Oscar/Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson is reportedly in serious negotiations to join Season 13 as a judge.
“The deal is essentially done,” according to Vulture, who first reported the news that producers were mulling an all-alumni judges’ panel.
Hudson, who recently performed on “Idol’s” Season 12 finale, is said to be interested in the gig.
“She got the offer and her reps are currently negotiating with [the show's production company] Fremantle,” another source says, according to TheWrap.
Producers think bringing back some of “Idol’s” most sparkly stars might help lure back their core audience, who’ve abandoned the show in recent seasons, causing an “Idol” ratings crash.
So “AI” may have J.Hud on deck, but the status of the first “American Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson, is murkier.
If you read The Hollywood Reporter, it says a rep for Clarkson denies reports that the singer is being courted to join “Idol’s” judges’ panel and claims she will not be appearing on Season 13.
If you read E! Online, it says that Clarkson is close to signing on to become a judge, despite denying that she is interested in the job.
The E! story also confirms that Hudson is indeed on board and claims that producers intend to keep it to a three-judge panel next season, adding that the final allegedly open spot is intended for either Aiken or Lambert.
Of course, Fox won’t comment on any “Idol” casting and will likely take all summer long to make a final decision on the judges’ panel.
What we know for sure is that original judge Randy Jackson has officially resigned, while the fates of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban are unconfirmed. But it’s widely speculated that Carey and Minaj are out, with only Urban expressing any interest in returning. Whether or not “Idol” wants him back will likely depend on who they get to replace the other three.
Watch Jennifer Hudson and “Idol” Winner Candice Glover Perform on the Season 12 Finale: