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For a brief moment on Sunday, Aug. 25, it looked as if the American Idol season 13 judges’ panel was set.
Returning to their seats at the table are Keith Urban, as announced by Fox on Aug. 1, and Jennifer Lopez, who critiqued many hundreds of hopefuls during seasons 11 and 12 (her boyfriend Casper Smart spilled the news though the network has yet to confirm) and a third spot was being held for hitmaker Dr. Luke, RCA recording artist and Luke protege Becky G tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“I think it’s going to happen,” she said on the MTV VMAs red carpet. “He’ll do great and I’m really excited about it.”
She wasn’t alone. Singer Jason Derulo, who’s dating American Idol season-six winner Jordin Sparks (she too spent quality time with Luke in the studio), told THR, “I think he would be perfect. There’s nobody bigger than Dr. Luke in terms of production and actually making a hit song.”
Added Sparks: “J.Lo is coming back, right? She was a mentor on my season and I absolutely love her!”
But some 24 hours later, THR learned that Luke’s appointment would not come to be due to a conflict of interest with Sony Music, which entered into a joint venture with the songwriter-producer (Idol has an exclusive deal with Universal Music Group, which holds first right of refusal for all Idol-affiliated recordings).
Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, came to prominence over the last decade as the songwriter-producer behind such hits as Kelly Clarkson‘s “Since U Been Gone” and “My Life Would Suck Without You,” Pink‘s “Who Knew” and Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed a Girl,” among others. He’s worked extensively with Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne and Miley Cyrus, whose forthcoming album, Bangerz, Dr. Luke produced.
Luke’s business interests extend to the publishing world (his Prescription Songs counts writers like Bonnie McKee and producers like Cirkut on its roster) and to the major labels (his Kemosabe Records is a joint venture with Sony Music).
Idol, which kicks off its 13th season in January 2014, has a new team in place behind the scenes, too. Den of Thieves, the duo of Evan Prager and Jesse Ignjatovic, has been brought in to “refresh” the show as executive producers, along with Swedish Idol veteran Per Blankens. News Corp. veteran David Hill is now overseeing Idol and X Factor for the network, which has yet to name a replacement for former alternative programming head Mike Darnell.
Fox would not comment.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Aug. 27.
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