Shania Twain To Join ‘American Idol’ As Guest Judge

Country star will replace Paula Abdul during Chicago auditions on August 30 and 31.

While we now know that Jessica Simpson will not be appearing as a guest judge on “American Idol” — and the return of Paula Abdul remains a far-off, tantalizing possibility — we know for certain the identity of another of the reality competition’s temp critics: country star [artist id="50102"]Shania Twain[/artist].

People first reported on Monday the possibility that Twain would join Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi. Now, it’s official. Twain will become the third pop luminary to appear on “Idol” following the departure of Paula Abdul. She’ll take her seat at the judges’ table in Chicago on August 30 and 31.

Mary J. Blige has already turned up for an appearance in Atlanta, and Victoria Beckham took on the role in Boston. Katy Perry is also set for a turn as a judge this season.

At a press conference earlier this month, Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice said that “Idol” will eventually replace Abdul with a permanent fourth judge, but will use guest celebrities until the right candidate can be selected.

“What we need to find is someone who has great chemistry,” Rice said. “It’s really a casting job. … There are multiple right answers and there are multiple wrong answers. Our job in the next four to five months is to really consider what makes this the most fun and the most entertaining.”

Despite Rice’s earlier assertions that he didn’t expect Abdul to return at the last minute, TMZ reported on Monday that Abdul might in fact come back if the show acquiesces to her earlier contract demands for $10 million per season.

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