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'American Idol': Watch a live Q&A with the judges!

Following tonight’s screening of the two-part American Idol premiere in select cities, people in ANY city can watch a live, interactive Q&A about season 13 with judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr., and host Ryan Seacrest (who hopefully won’t be superimposed into the picture, as above) right here. The chat session begins at 8:30 p.m ET/5:30 p.m. PT.

Watch it below!
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On the scene: A preview glimpse of 'American Idol' at Hollywood Week

The world will have to wait until American Idol premieres on Jan. 15 to know who got the golden tickets, but for the contestants on Idol‘s upcoming 13th season, this week was Hollywood Week and the competition is just starting to get intense. EW was on the scene for the first day of the second stage of FOX’s singing competition.

Contestants had to perform in front of the judges for the first time since their original auditions in their home towns to get to the next round in Hollywood Week: Groups. With new judge Harry Connick Jr. joining Keith Urban and returning judge Jennifer Lopez on the panel, this season already has a warmer different vibe than the last one — better known as Mariah vs. Nicki. Gone are the dueling divas and the new threesome seem to be getting along very well, joking and laughing together throughout the day.

As for the competition itself, each contestant had to sing a song of their choice a cappella on stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, home of the Academy Awards, in front of the judges, their fellow competitors, and family and friends. Each contestant is allowed to bring two people to cheer them on sitting up in the front mezzanine. When it was the contestant’s turn to sing, their family moved to the edge of the balcony so they could see them. The family and friends are also there to console and take eliminated contestants home right away. And I mean right away — their luggage is waiting (organized alphabetically) in the lobby of the theater.

Before singing, each contestant introduced him or herself by sharing their name, age, and why they believe they are the next American Idol. Some favorite introductions we overheard:
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'American Idol' season 13 promo: Time to 'search for a superstar' -- VIDEO

After all of the drama surrounding who would make up American Idol‘s judging panel, the show is ready to get back to business: Finding music’s next superstar.

We’ve got a first look at the new promo for season 13, which takes us all around the nation, showing a variety of contestants and teasing “Who will it be?” Watch the promo below:
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Watch new 'American Idol' audition footage -- VIDEO

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American Idol season 13 doesn’t premiere ’til January, but you can catch a whiff of Keith Urban, former judge J. Lo, and new judge Harry Connick Jr.’s combined pheromones already. Check out a sneak preview of a few promising auditions (plus a twerking “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and a slurring man Harry thinks is “cool”) below. READ FULL STORY

'Luther' finale: Creator Neil Cross on that final moment

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the Luther season (series?) finale, stop reading now. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol' rumor roundup: Randy Jackson as a mentor, Kanye West as a judge?

When we’re not busy trying to figure out what is going to happen on Breaking Bad, we’re consumed with constant stories about what is going to happen on none other than American Idol. Honestly, if you thought The Real Housewives had drama, you’ve been missing out.

The latest rumor surrounding the evolving cast of the reality singing competition stars a familiar face: Mr. Randy Jackson, who served as a judge on the show for the first 12 seasons before leaving last May.

According to Deadline, music producer Jimmy Iovine is leaving his post as an in-house mentor, a position he’s held for three seasons, and will “likely be replaced” by Jackson. Deadline claims Fox chairman Kevin Reilly had previously mentioned that Jackson “will be back in some capacity.” So maybe Idol hasn’t lost its top dawg after all.

But Jackson isn’t the only name being thrown around the Idol rumor mill: READ FULL STORY

Source: Jennifer Lopez deal with 'American Idol' imminent

A person familiar with negotiations to bring Jennifer Lopez back as an American Idol judge says her return will be announced this week.

The person said Monday that a deal is close to being signed with Lopez, who was an Idol judge for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The person wasn’t authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. READ FULL STORY

'American Idol': Jennifer Lopez nearing deal to return as judge

American Idol‘s season 13 judging panel is inching toward completion: Last week came the official news that Keith Urban would be returning, and now sources tell EW that former Idol judge Jennifer Lopez — who has been in the mix of potential judges — is very close to signing a deal to return to the reality singing competition.

At this point, Lopez’s deal is not signed — but it could be ready in as little as a few days. Lopez was an Idol judge during the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol and was reportedly courted during the 2013 season as a possible replacement for judge Mariah Carey.

The third seat at the judging table remains much more up in the air: Sources say that Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am is still in talks with Idol producers, but it’s unclear if he’s actively in negotiating a deal yet. Harry Connick, Jr., was in the running but is likely no longer being considered, while Idol alum and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson was also a possibility but no longer seems to be a contender.

Sources tells EW that the Idol panel — much like when it originally launched with Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Paula Abdul in 2002 — will include just three judges in the upcoming season, as opposed to four in recent seasons.

Fox had no comment on the negotiations. (Additional reporting by James Hibberd)

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That’s one: Keith Urban confirmed for ‘American Idol’ return

That's one: Keith Urban confirmed for 'American Idol' return

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Keith Urban survived the cut.

Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed that the country artist will return to American Idol next year.

That fills one slot on the long-running reality series, which fell to series-low ratings last season. Former judges Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj are not returning. At least two other judges will be added to the panel in the coming weeks, possibly will.i.am and/or Jennifer Lopez (again). Jennifer Hudson has also been widely rumored, but isn’t considered a very likely addition.

Reilly said he’s seeking “comfortable judges that make it comfortable to view” the show. He also said, in what seems to be an annual statement about Idol, that next season will focus more on the contestants and less on the judges.

The executive made the statement at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

Reilly was also asked about X Factor, which is radically rebooting its pane for the third year in a row. This year, Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato. “I don’t know that [the panel has] been a problem per se,” he said. “You’re trying to find four judges trying to find the right chemistry, I think the panel for the most part last year worked… Simon is a perfectionist. Demi was a great piece of the puzzle … this year we’ve really got right.”

Ten ex-'Idol' contestants file multi-million dollar lawsuit, claiming racial discrimination

Former American Idol contestant Corey Clark is suing Fox again… and this time, he’s not alone.

EW has confirmed that 10 onetime Idol hopefuls — including Clark (season 2), Jaered Andrews (season 2), Jacob John Smalley (season 2), Donnie Williams (season 3), Terrell Brittenum (season 5), Derrell Brittenum (season 5), Thomas Daniels (season 6), Akron Watson (season 6), Ju’Not Joyner (season 8), and Chris Golightly (season 9) — have banded together to file a suit against the singing series.

The plaintiffs claim that they were treated unfairly — and kicked off the show unjustly — because they all happen to be black.  READ FULL STORY

Adam Lambert joining 'Glee'

Glee’s fifth season just got a dose of glam(bert).

Creator Ryan Murphy announced via Twitter Wednesday that American Idol alum Adam Lambert is poised to join the show next season in an as-yet unannounced role. (EW has reached out to Fox for  details.)

News of Lambert’s addition comes almost two weeks after a significant cast shakeup that saw the departure of series regulars Heather Morris (Brittany), Mark Salling (Puck), Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike), Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Amber Riley (Mercedes), who are all said to possibly return in a guest star capacity. Shortly after news of the exits, Fox also announced the promotion of Melissa Benoist, Blake Jenner, Alex Newell, Jacob Artist, and Becca Tobin to series regulars.

'American Idol' champ Ruben Studdard to compete on 'The Biggest Loser'

Have you ever seen a Velvet Teddy Bear with rock-hard abs? American Idol alum Ruben Studdard, who beat Clay Aiken back in 2003 to earn the season 2 crown, is moving on to a new reality competition: The Biggest Loser.

Studdard — nicknamed the Velvet Teddy Bear for his cuddly physique and silky-smooth vocals — is ready to change that image in the name of health.

“I’ve never had an issue with my weight,” Studdard, 35, told People. “[But] my family has a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart-related issues — things I didn’t have to deal with yet because I’m young. But I don’t want to be worried at 40, and if I don’t fix things now, I will be.”
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Will 'The Voice' ever find a Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood?

In 2002, 23 million viewers tuned in to watch Kelly Clarkson win the first season of American Idol, which translated to her debut post-show album, Thankful, selling 2.8 million albums to date, more than 2 million of which were sold in the first two years after its release. In 2011, 11.1 million viewers tuned in to watch Javier Colon win The Voice, which translated to his first album, Come Through for You, selling 46,000 copies to date, almost exactly two years later. So is Idol really just a better platform for musicians, or do these stats simply reveal the issue of a changing music industry?

No one can say for sure, but Idol‘s least successful winner, 2010′s Lee DeWyze, sold 146,000 albums, more than tripling Colon’s sales. Even Idol punch line William Hung sold 200,000 albums. And considering The Voice‘s season 2 winner, Jermaine Paul, hasn’t even released a debut album, maybe there is something missing from The Voice formula. Why can’t singers successfully transition from selling cover songs to selling albums of original music?
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