American Idol Judging Trio Will All Return for New Season

After a stellar Season 10, Idol fans can rejoice in news that the three beloved judges of last season will once again be reunited for Season 11. While Jennifer Lopez had been “on the fence” in announcing whether she would return, yesterday morning American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe told the audience of “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” that J.Lo will, in fact, be returning alongside her fellow judges Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler. Seacrest prompted the announcement when he asked Lythgoe, “Do you want to do the Jennifer announcement here or are we still waiting?” Lythgoe replied, “I believe we’re still waiting for the official announcements but I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of American Idol, is back for the next season.” Idol veteran Randy Jackson and the ever-amusing Steven Tyler already have deals for another season (and of course Ryan would be back!), so the only thing that had been holding back the announcement was J.Lo’s deal. Even Lythgoe acknowledges it isn’t “official” just yet… not until Fox says so, but it’s certainly the most promising news yet for those fans of J.Lo and the current roster of judges. It’s also being reported that her last season paycheck of $12 million has increased by 60% to provide her with a $20 million paycheck for this upcoming season. We can’t imagine why J.Lo wouldn’t return considering the show provided an all-out revitalization of her career. On the show, she was able to promote her new album, single, and also land several movie deals… not to mention the “most beautiful woman” title she snagged from People this year. We hope Steven Tyler takes this into consideration as well because we have never loved him more! So we’re crossing our fingers a year early that he doesn’t leave the show for Season 12. Season 11 kicks off in January 2012, but the team is hitting the road soon to hear auditions in cities including Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Portland, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Charleston.