Jennifer Lopez Back as American Idol Judge

Fox officially announces new judges panel.

Posted: 09/04/2013 10:28 AM EDT
Jennifer Lopez

It's official, Jennifer Lopez is headed back to American Idol. Fox released a statement announcing their "dream team" panel, followed by the first photograph of this new season's three Idol judges featuring Lopez, Keith Urban and newcomer Harry Connick Jr.

Lopez, 44, also tweeted "#IDOL2014TheRemix" and spoke about her return with Idol host Ryan Seacrest Tuesday (Sept. 3). "I know people like to make a big deal about the money, but for me, it's not about that," she said.

Refilling the very seat she vacated came down to her love for the gig. "It was hard for me to leave the first time," Lopez explained. "[But] to be honest, right now is the worst time for me to stop and do Idol!" I’m doing two movies and I have my album coming out, but I’m doing it because I want to. I love it!”  

After two seasons, the "Live It Up" singer left the Fox singing competition to focus on other ventures. A whole new set of judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Urban were brought in to replace Lopez and Steven Tyler. But the new editions (plus Minaj's and Carey's constant bickering) didn't help ratings, which slipped to a franchise low. Minaj and Carey announced their departures on the same day, not long after veteran judge Randy Jackson confirmed that he was giving up his seat at the judge's table. Jackson, however, will return next season as a mentor.

The upcoming season of Idol debuts in January.      

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(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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