'American Idol' announcement coming Wed.
Fox to reveal the new judges at The Forum in Inglewood
UPDATE: Fox just confirmed. "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest and the new judges will take The Forum stage Wednesday, Sept. 22.
Rumors are intensifying that Fox will soon end months of media leaks and speculation with an official "American Idol" judging panel announcement.
One option being explored is unveiling the new panel in Los Angeles, next Wednesday, Sept. 22. Fox recently announced a final "Idol" audition on that date held at the Forum. A producer said the date was being added due to an impressive turnout at the tryouts, but sources say the slot is being eyed as a potential venue to reveal the show's tenth season judges.
Nothing is official at this point. But Fox will likely break its "no comment" silence with some form of "Idol"-related announcement before the weekend.
Fox is expected to eventually confirm what "Idol" fans already have heard: Singers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are joining the 10th season of the reality hit.
Randy Jackson will continue on the veteran series as the lone holdover from last season.
Sources say a music industry figure -- likely Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records chairmain Jimmy Iovine -- is also expected to play a role on the show. Additional format tweaks are possible as well.
The announcement will conclude an exhaustive search to replace lead judge Simon Cowell, who's launching his own singing competition, a domestic version of his U.K. hit "The X Factor," on Fox next fall.
Sources say Tyler's deal was finished weeks ago, with the singer and members of Aerosmith making little effort to keep secret his involvement on the show. Lopez's deal took considerably longer, with the singer accused of making "diva-like" demands (apparently when a talented female drives a hard bargain, she's a "diva," but when Elton John prices himself out of the "Idol" market, he's simply hard to get).
Lopez reportedly took a $12 million deal to join the show, which is still considerably less than Cowell's former salary of $36 million. It's also well above the $3.5 million that Paula Abdul made on the show.
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