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

Categories: 1-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

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.



  • J

    It all comes full circle…

  • roly

    It might work,why not.

  • Rebecca

    Sounds like a good idea. I still won’t watch (haven’t since right after the Ruben and Clay finale, long ago), but if they even just alternated past winners (or runner ups or other long lasting contestants) in future seasons the show could still last a while. Say, if each one did a season as a judge before resuming their own career, a bit like what The Voice is doing with their panel.

  • Jake

    Can’t the Oscar winner do movies instead?

  • Jason

    Another thing, the contestants should only do songs from the ’80s onwards, no covers, no re-records. If they have to, do it all rock weeks but with Alternative Rock (Bush, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, etc.) or much less Heavy Metal (AC DC, Van Halen). I know that most of them are not rockers, but they have to take a gamble in order to win most of the young demographics back with Rock or Techno weeks.

  • Voltron

    Yikes, not a good career move for Hudson. From Academy Award winning movie roles to being a judge on a reality show? I guess she doesn’t intend to make a career out of acting, which is a shame. Can you imagine Meryl Streep or Al Pacino on a TV reality show? yeesh.

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted May 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM
    “@Christos I wouldn’t really blame anything that happened to Smash on Jennifer Hudson.”

    What Christos was implying was that Smash was already a sinking ship before they hired Jennifer Hudson to save it. It didn’t work. Christos is probably betting that J-Hud won’t be able to stop Idol from, perhaps, falling into the 1s.

    If this doesn’t work out, J-Hud will quit (since it is probably a 1-year contract anyway), and go to her next project. As for that other Idol alumna, Kat McPhee, who was the star of Smash, she’s probably going to end up making novelty monster films like ‘Minotaur vs. Cthulhu’ on SYFY!

  • networkman

    I still would really love to see Harry Connick Jr. He was really providing constructive critism to the contestants. He was teaching them to truly understand the lyrics that they were singing. It is good to have a decent voice but a true artist connects emotionally with the material given. Too often the performances were coming off as pagentry because the singers are not being authentic. Not every song needs a big long note at the end.

    I would add Kelly Clarkson as well and someone like Mary J. Blige would be better than Jennifer Hudson. Jennifer is still trying to prove herself in the music industry, whereas Mary J. Blige as been in the game for over 20 years and she would be really about grooming the contestants to become the best they can be in the industry.

  • CStep

    Well, finally some sense is being shown in casting judges. I prefer Adam as the 1 male. Love the concept of Jennifer and Kelley. This is what Idol is all about!

  • networkman

    If I’m not mistaken, I read an article about Jennifer Hudson stating she felt American Idol should end. If that is true, then she definately should not have accepted the role as judge. She wanted the show to end for goodness sake. Because she felt the show was no longer necessary, she should stay off of it.

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