Following months of upheaval that saw three of the four American Idol judges leaving the show and everyone from Elton John to Howard Stern rumored as replacements, it seems as though the judges' panel for the next season of Idol is finally in place: According to People , after a summer of much-publicized negotiations, Jennifer Lopez has finally sealed a one-year, $12 million deal to join Idol. Lopez will likely join a revamped judges' table that includes Randy Jackson, the only remaining judge from Idol's first season, and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, as the show returns to a three-judge format.
Lopez had long been rumored to fill one of the vacancies on Idol, but talk of the singer's demands from producers led to a breakdown in talks. At one point, country star Shania Twain was mentioned as the producers' new target to join the show, but Lopez and Idol reengaged in contract talk soon after. It was suggested that Lopez was holding out for a Fox contract that included development deals and movie options, but People reports she simply settled for the $12 million.
While no official announcements have been made -- Us Weekly writes that Fox will announce the judges in early October -- Lopez seems to bring stability to panel that's seen many recent changes. Idol's fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, announced two weeks ago that she was leaving the show after two years. DioGuardi's exit followed that of Ellen DeGeneres, who felt her role wasn't the "right fit", and Simon Cowell, Idol's marquee name, who left the show to work on the new American version of Britain's The X Factor.
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