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Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. join 'American Idol'

All the "American Idol" rumors can be put to rest. Fox on Tuesday confirmed it's new judges panel for the thirteenth season: Returning judge Keith Urban will be joined by Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

Now maybe "Idol" can get back to the business of finding great new talent like past chanps Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood instead of focusing on sparring judges like last season's Mariah Carey-Nicki Minaj feud.

The new panel is the show's first to consist solely of singers, a possible nod to the success of NBC's "The Voice." The "new" judges both have "Idol" experience. Lopez was a judge for two seasons in 2011 and 2012, while Connick has been a mentor on the show in the past.

Ryan Seacrest, who has been with the show from the start, returns as host. In a surprise move, original judge Randy Jackson, who exited the show after last season along with Carey and Minaj, will be back as in-house mentor to the contestants.

"Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all," Jackson said in a Fox release. "Season 1-3 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America."

He still can't sum things up succinctly. "American Idol" returns in January.


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Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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