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WJBD - Entertainment - Harry Connick Jr. Joins "American Idol" as Judge

Harry Connick Jr. Joins "American Idol" as Judge

Donna Ward/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- After weeks of unconfirmed reports and rumors, Fox has announced that Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. will be joining Keith Urban on the judging panel for the 13th season of American Idol.

In addition, the network has confirmed that ex-judge Randy Jackson will be returning to the show as the "in-house mentor," replacing Jimmy Iovine.  Ryan Seacrest will be back as host.

“I have always been a huge fan of American Idol and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show,” said Connick Jr. in a statement.  "And I am honored that they’ve asked me to be a judge this season. As an entertainer, I am truly excited to bring my perspective to American Idol, and to help emerging performers find their way."

Randy Jackson said in a statement, "Surprise, surprise! I am so happy to be back as part of this amazing show that started it all. Season 1-3 is the place to be. The original talent show is back with a vengeance and ready to discover the best talent in America."

Lopez tweeted, "#IDOL2014TheRemix.” While Keith Urban added, "I think this season of Idol is gonna be a blast. New team, new energy and a whole new field of artists to be discovered and given a chance!"

The 13th season of American Idol, which the show is styling as American Idol XIII, like the Super Bowl, debuts in January.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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