The revolving judge door at “American Idol” may be spinning again and this time producers may be looking no further than the “Idol” stage for their next celebrity panelist.
The glitter-loving former “Idol” contestant has reportedly been in talks for over a month and an unnamed source said show runners think he’s the perfect match for the vacant spot. “He personifies the show, and will be a popular choice right from the start,” said an unnamed source. “He knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the judges’ comments, he has a human touch, and they know they can’t go wrong if they bring him on. He would be able to bring a unique perspective to the show. People love him.”
Though “Idol” has not announced whether Lopez, or fellow celebrity judge Steven Tyler, will be returning for a third season, speculation has been rampant that J Lo could be splitting after the show helped revive her once-dormant music career. Tyler made a bit splash during season 10, but his presence was much diminished during his second season and E! suggested that nobody is safe.
“Randy is great, but he’s part of the old ’Idol,’ ” the source said of the only remaining original judge, music industry vet Randy Jackson. “They want to keep the soul of the show but have a new look, and for that reason he may well not be part of the new lineup.” A source close to Tyler reportedly told E! that the Aerosmith singer is also “up in the air” about coming back.
A spokesperson for “Idol” declined to comment on the Lambert rumors at press time.
Fox is reportedly keen to change Lopez’s mind because they believe she has a wide audience appeal and could help keep the #1 show on TV afloat as more competition hammers away at “Idol”’s once-untouchable, but steadily deteriorating ratings. With Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton bringing pop and country power to “The Voice” and former “Idol” lead judge Simon Cowell loading up with Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on “X Factor,” it would not be surprising if “Idol” attempted another reboot with some more contemporary blood on the panel.
“I don’t know if they can afford Jennifer, but they have let it be known that she has a guaranteed spot if she wants it,” another unnamed source told E! “She appeals to everyone so the big bosses are in favor of keeping her on.”