Jennifer Lopez will return to 'American Idol,' Nigel Lythgoe confirms
Jennifer Lopez will be back at the "American Idol" judges' table with Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson now that she has signed on for the 11th season of the Fox show.
After weeks of speculation, "American Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe confirmed the news that Lopez would return to the series on "On Air With Ryan Seacrest" Wednesday.
"I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of 'American Idol,' is back for the next season," Lythgoe said over the phone.
Auditions with all three judges will begin in a couple of weeks, Seacrest added on Twitter.
But it comes as no surprise to many that the celebrated panel would be back, despite early skepticism following the departure of original judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul -- especially after the newly installed judges helped garner 10 Emmy nods for the reality competition.
Tyler's deal with "American Idol" runs for two more seasons but Lopez had initially signed a one-year agreement. However, her return could mean a pay raise for the singer, who reportedly will be getting $20 million instead of the $12 million she got on her first go-round.
-- Nardine Saad
Photo: "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson with host Ryan Seacrest. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images