Dozens, if not hundreds, of American Idol fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief as Jennifer Lopez has apparently decided to return to judge another season of pop star hopefuls. After deserting the former ratings juggernaut’s high-turnover band of judges last year (replaced by Mariah Carey), Lopez reportedly will come back to the Idol fold this season for a mere $15 million paycheck. As Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Idol veteran Randy Jackson fly the coop, Keith Urban is reported to be staying on, and will.i.am is a possible new judge. No word on whether Idol will add a fourth judge again, or go back to its original three-person panel.
The whole thing is an interesting commentary on weird things are getting over at Idol, which has seen a ratings downturn as of late (as The Voice has accelerated): one random rumor even discussed Simon Cowell’s possible return, but he dismissed that notion to Entertainment Weekly last week.