Report: Jennifer Hudson to Be a Judge on Next Season of 'American Idol'

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May 24th, 2013

Jennifer Hudson

via press release:

E! News Exclusive: Jennifer Hudson Signs On as American Idol Judge! (Plus, Find Out Who Else Is Close to Coming Aboard)




American Idol has nailed down its first alum turned judge: Jennifer Hudson<>.



Multiple sources confirm exclusively to E! News that the Oscar-winning singer has signed a deal to sit at the judges' table this fall for season 13. The other two spots are also intended for former Idol contestants: Kelly Clarkson and either Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken.



We're told that Clarkson is also close to signing on. No word yet on whether Lambert or Aiken will fill the final spot, but producers are expected to keep the panel to three members.



The "superstar-alum" theme is aimed at reclaiming some of Idol's lost viewership—the series is down about 10 million viewers from two years ago, in part because of the success of The Voice.



Fox (smartly) wants to highlight Idol's upper hand: It's the only singing competition to actually manufacture top-selling stars.



"It's Idol alums bringing in the next generation," says one Fox source of the reasoning behind the casting for season 13.



Current judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson and Keith Urban will not be returning for next season.



Hudson didn't win the show's third season but went on to have one of the most high-profile careers, winning an Academy Award in 2006 for Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls. She most recently appeared on the second season of NBC's troubled and now-canceled series Smash.



Fox had no comment on Hudson's casting.



  • Chris


    Jennifer Hudson has no talent! She is a scream performer who knows nothing about good music.

  • theCroup

    I could get behind this. Especially if Clarkson signs on. She was too nice on the Duets show but it was clear she has a good rapport with contestants, is very likable, knowledgeable about singing and performance and can actually offer constructive criticism. I think she’d make a great judge.

    I think Adam could be good too. I remember him coming back to mentor contestants before and he was very good at the technical side of things if nothing else, so he would be at least as effective as any of the judges this year.

    Jennifer Hudson is a wild-card to me, but she’s been through the Idol machine, has her own success, and I’ve actually never heard stories about her being any kind of spoiled diva. Those are all pluses in my book.

    Of course, I don’t think that’ll be enough to save the show if the producer don’t learn to cast real talent without putting the fix-in.

  • Edward

    These shows won’t get cancelled. They still do good ratings considering if you look at what other programs get and also these shows are on for multiple hours at times. Which helps fill air time. Also, the demos for these shows aren’t bad…


    I still believe IDOL is better than The Voice- it just needs to return to its routes after a disasterous season 13. They re-energized the show in season 10 after a bad Season 9. They can do it again. The Voice is all about promoting its judges and mentors- but contestants?? Not so much.

  • Carl

    This is actually a good idea. However, the ratings will never recover. The best they can hope for is that the ratings only drop the AI average of 10% instead of tanking 25% like they did this year.

  • JohnnyRico

    First Smash now American Idol. Somewhere out there is another sinking ship wondering why Jennifer Hudson has not jumped on it yet.

  • Tilly

    I was about to say the same thing Johnny Rico. Lolz. After dream girls…movie roles weren’t as good. Barely any. Transition to tv. To smash which is canceled now a lifetime movie. No. Music never sold as good compare to Kelly clarkson. She’s trying to get that EGOT. movie career done. Music career a wrap. Moves to tv. Trying to get that Emmy this year. Smash is a broadway show. Next is broadway. She’s trying to cement herself as a serious entertainer.

  • Lisa

    I would love all of those judges. Clay and Adam are both great, so I can’t even pick between them. Whichever one they get (if either) will be fine with me. I don’t think, though, that this sort of new judging panel will really help the ratings. AI is probably going to keep sliding. At least it will have a panel I believe I’ll like a lot if/when it does.

  • NBC Fan

    I still not tuning back in.

    I think the bleeding could stop if they find contestants that Idol viewers like, but I don’t think we will ever see Idol grow again.

  • Bern

    I’m watching!
    Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, and Carrie Underwood would be an awesome panel!


    Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, and another male singer. I don’t want Aiken or Lambert. Maybe Chris Daughtry?

  • Sunrise

    I’d watch again if Clay Aiken was added. I haven’t watched for a few years now. Don’t care for Adam L….I think I stopped watching during his year….But I’m probably not the demo they’re looking for…I’m 60. I’ve never understood how advertisers seem to prefer the young (and, in my view….those with less disposable income…) to those who have a healthy bank account to buy their products….like Fords, AT&T phones, etc…..

  • HalCapone

    Jennifer Hudson is yesterday’s news. She might have a little more appeal for the older end of the 18-49 demo but those don’t generally watch Idol anyway. Idol has gone past irrelevancy and has reached its tipping point now. No new judge(s) will reverse the ratings decline beyond a brief curiosity tune-in. Two more seasons tops before Idol is idled permanently.

  • MG

    Oh please Jennifer is a great choice but you people act like nicki was a horrible judge. In reality she was fantastic as a judge and she did her job if you would get whatever prejudice about nicki out of your mind you would see that she was a good judge.

  • Joe

    Jlo is going to be piss that she didn’t get this full time gig. She needed this gig after buying a new home, and now with no full time job, her career and her new home dream have crumble? And that other Verizon joint venture, that’s already scrap just after the first day of bad publicity?

  • Jiji Moran

    Anthony, you have never seen her judge anything because she has never judged anything. Plain and simple. She’s a screamer with a rash personality that rubs many the wrong way, myself included. I repeat, she is not qualified to judge talent.

  • Edward Mooney

    No impressed! With Jennifer or Adam as judges. Get so real seasoned professional. The show need an overhaul!

  • Patrick G

    I’m very surprised that FOX is replacing the ENTIRE Judge’s Panel next year! While I’m glad to see bitch Nicki Minaj leave along with blabbermouth diva Mariah Carey, who talked more than the contestants sang, I thought Randy Jackson would be there ’til the end of the series. And Keith Urban did just fine ;)

    IMO, putting former IDOL contestants on as the judges will be the final nails in the IDOL coffin. These people are still too new in “The Industry” to be taken seriously as judges. Lambert and Aiken didn’t even WIN, for crying out loud! FOX needs to cancel X FACTOR since it’s a cheap copycat of THE VOICE and well below expectations ratings-wise and get Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul back as judges on IDOL. The show just hasn’t been the same since the 2 of them left! At this rate, IDOL will be dead very soon.

  • Chris

    Clay Aiken will be runner up as a judge contestant. :P

  • bob

    just end american idol, its horrible!!!!!!!

  • rgxx

    Please no Aiken OR Lambert – No No No !

    I don’t think this will work – I think it will come across like a wanna-be talent contest – Fox – this will be your final year if you do this – I think Having ONE SMART former A.I. contestant would be cool – one of the girls…then get 2 other big names – having ALL former contestants is going to sink the show.

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