After months of speculation and not a peep from one of the breakout stars of this season's "American Idol," executive producer Nigel Lythgoe confirmed that [artist id="508574"]Jennifer Lopez[/artist] will return for a second go-round next year.
The low-key nature of the news caught many in the media by surprise, bucking expectations that a more robust public-relations push would accompany the re-signing of the singer whose music career was revived by her first turn on "Idol" and who became a fan and contestant favorite during the show's 10th season.
"I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of 'American Idol' [Ryan Seacrest], is back for the next season," Lythgoe said Wednesday morning on Seacrest's radio show, "On Air With Ryan Seacrest." Lythgoe said all three will be back on the road soon to participate in season 11 auditions in Denver; Houston; St. Louis; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; Pittsburgh; and Charleston, South Carolina.
At press time, Lopez had not made a statement about her return to the show. While it was confirmed earlier this summer that Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler would be back for another season alongside sole remaining original judge Randy Jackson, it was unclear if Lopez — who recently announced her split from husband Marc Anthony — would be willing to sit behind the table for another season.
Spokespeople for Lopez could not be reached for further comment at press time, and a Fox spokesperson said the network had no comment on the news at this time.
Lopez could show up on TV before then, as part of the Latin American reality talent show "Q'Viva," which she will co-host with estranged husband Anthony.
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