With the news last night that Ellen DeGeneres has quit "American Idol," and a TMZ report this morning that Kara DioGuardi has been "fired" from the show, the rumor mill has been running rampant this morning with speculation as to who will be on the panel of judges for this upcoming season of "Idol."
Various media outlets are now reporting that the "Idol" will be returning to a three-judge panel, and with Simon Cowell leaving for "X Factor," Ellen DeGeneres quitting, and Kara DioGuardi being fired, that leaves only Randy Jackson as the only judge from the original panel.
Earlier this week, it was reported that former producer Nigel Lythgoe -- creator & judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" -- has returned to the show, and that he has preferred the "nuclear option" of starting over with a new panel of judges. Lythgoe reportedly felt that the focus had shifted from the performers to the judges, and that ratings and quality of "Idol" suffered.
Lopez was a guest mentor during a Latin-themed week in April 2007 (right), and has been a guest performer on both "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance."
Other names that have been linked to the vacant seats have included Howard Stern, Bret Michaels, Chris Isaak, Harry Connick Jr., Jessica Simpson, among others.
It is expected that Fox will make the official announcement next week at the 2010 Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
What do you think of the rumored lineup of judges: Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez?
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