[url id="/news/topic/american_idol/index.jhtml"]"American Idol"[/url] producers definitely appear to be sending a strong message to hopefuls who are vying to make it to season nine's competition: Your guest judges know exactly what they're talking about.
Following the shocking [article id="1617611"]departure of Paula Abdul[/article] last month, the rotating list of celebrity judges warming up the fourth seat on the panel keeps growing. Fox announced Wednesday morning (September 2) that pop-punk princess [artist id="1228637"]Avril Lavigne[/artist] will switch off with previously announced [article id="1617777"]fourth-seater Katy Perry[/article] when prospective "Idol" contestants line up in Los Angeles for the final days of auditions this week. The pair will sit in separately to offer their multi-platinum advice to the singers vying for a golden ticket to the show's Hollywood round.
They join a list of confirmed judges who have or will offer hopefuls some advice that includes [article id="1619021"]Joe Jonas[/article], [article id="1617733"]Victoria Beckham[/article], [article id="1618808"]Mary J.Blige[/article], [article id="1619609"]Neil Patrick Harris[/article], [article id="1618934"]Shania Twain[/article] and singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth.
The eclectic mix of singers — and Neil Patrick Harris — should make for an interesting dynamic with the permanent judging panel of resident baddie Simon Cowell, good-cop/bad-cop Randy Jackson and returning sophomore judge Kara DioGuardi. Producers have not yet announced when they will permanently fill the fourth seat, but [article id="1620441"]Abdul has made it seem unlikely[/article] that she will stage a surprise return to the program.
Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' [url id="/news/topic/american_idol/index.jhtml"]"American Idol" page[/url], where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.