So long Ellen DeGeneres. Hello Jennifer Lopez?
J.Lo has been tapped as the newest judge on “American Idol,” according to various online reports.
Deadline was the first to report the newest addition to the “Idol” judges’ table, noting that negotiations have been going on for over a month to bring Jennifer on board, after her manager, Benny Medina, initiated the meeting with “Idol” producers.
The news broke just hours after Ellen announced she was leaving the hit FOX program after just one season as a judge.
“A couple months ago, I let FOX and the ‘American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me,” Ellen said in a statement issued to Access Hollywood on Thursday. “I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next.”
The talk show host and comedienne revealed that she didn’t come to the decision lightly.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for,” her statement continued. “I also realized this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings.”
Simon Cowell, who left the program following the conclusion of Season 9 in May, issued a statement following the news of Ellen’s departure.
“As I got to know Ellen, I grew to really, really like her. I have huge respect for her because she’s always been in control of her own destiny,” Simon told The Hollywood Reporter.
As of now, J.Lo would join returning hosts Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi at the judges’ table when Season 10 of “Idol” bows in January.
“[Jennifer’s] excited about it,” a source told People on Thursday night.
As for who will step in as the fourth and final judge, several names have been speculated, including Jessica Simpson, Harry Connick Jr., Elton John, Chris Isaak and Justin Timberlake.
The possibility also remains that the show could return to a three judge format. A formal announcement is expected to come from FOX at their Television Critics Association panel on Monday.
On Thursday, yet another name surfaced as a judge possibility – Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
Access Hollywood confirmed that the rocker has met with “American Idol” reps on “several occasions,” a source close to the singer said.
There was no word, however, on whether he was close to making a deal for one of the open judges’ chairs.