Jennifer Lopez has joined the judging panel of season 13 of “American Idol” along with Harry Connick Jr., and Keith Urban -- the only judge returning from last season, Fox announced on Tuesday.
Randy Jackson, who was a judge in the previous season, will now return to the show as a mentor to contestants.
“American Idol has always been about discovering the next singing superstar, and next season our judging panel will deliver a most impressive combination of talent, wisdom and personality to do just that,” Kevin Reilly, chairman of the entertainment division at Fox Broadcasting Company, said in a statement.
This change in lineup is expected to pep up the show’s ratings, which saw a dip due to various factors including competition from other singing reality shows such as NBC’s “The Voice” and Fox’s “X Factor,” according to reports.
The waning popularity of “American Idol” saw the show losing some 7 million viewers from the previous season during the 12th season’s finale on May 16. Only around 14.3 million viewers tuned in to Fox to watch the season finale, marking the first time an “American Idol” season-closing episode did not reach the 20-million mark since the show first aired in 2002.
According to a Forbes report, “American Idol” reached its peak in 2006 during its fifth season with an average of 29.5 million viewers for each show, but in its last season, viewers averaged only 13 million for every episode.
Bad chemistry between then-judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, which saw them engaging in numerous fights throughout the season, is also said to be a reason for the decline in the show’s popularity. The constant bickering between the two also kept them from returning to the show for another season, according to reports.
In May, a source close to Carey told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column that the singer did not want to come back for the next season, even if Minaj left the show.
“Mariah doesn’t want to come back, Nicki is really disrespecting her and she’s tired of trying to bite her tongue all the time,” the source said. “She’s done with it all. She doesn’t need the platform, and all the drama isn’t healthy for her,” added the source.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.