Times had been looking tough for American Idol earlier this week, but Harry Connick Jr. has come to the rescue. A source confirmed to Us Weekly that the crooner and actor will be taking the open spot on the show’s panel of judges.
Reports on Thursday suggested that the upcoming 13th season of the show could be delayed if a third judge didn’t come in quickly to fill the slot previously slated for producer Dr. Luke, whose deal with Fox ended up falling apart. Taping is set to begin on Tuesday.
Three-time Grammy winner Connick, who has appeared on the show several times as a performer and mentor, will be joining returning judges Jennifer Lopez, who took the last season off, and Keith Urban. Former judge Randy Jackson will move into the mentoring position vacated by Jimmy Iovine.
Connick offered a hint of his judicial philosophy in May. “I think you need to be completely honest and I think you need to be diplomatic,” he said. “I think there’s no reason to be mean, but it’s called being a judge.”