The quest for ‘Idol’s’ 3rd judge
After and Dr. Luke, it's pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr. now reported as completing the panel

NICHE IN MAINSTREAM POP. Jazz pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr. Photo from his Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – If all really goes well, the panel of judges for the 13th season of “American Idol” may now be deemed complete.

Us Weekly reports that pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr. may fill the 3rd slot in the panel, whose completion is a crucial prerequisite for the Fox reality show to proceed on schedule.

The 3-time Grammy-winning Connick, 45, is an acclaimed jazz pianist and singer from New Orleans, who has also secured his niche in mainstream pop and acted in several Hollywood films.

Musician-producer Dr. Luke was earlier reported to be the 3rd judge in the panel that includes singers and returning judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.

READ: Dr Luke joins ‘American Idol’ panel of judges

But his deal with Fox fell through because it conflicted with his contract with Sony Music, which is in direct competition with another company behind the Fox reality show.

The task to complete the 3-member panel has become a complicated quest threatening to delay “Idol’s” new season, which is scheduled to begin taping on Tuesday, September 3.

Before Dr. Luke, of the Black Eyed Peas had turned down the offer to be the show’s 3rd judge.

By all indications, the show may proceed as scheduled. Connick, who has appeared several times on “Idol” as performer and mentor, had expressed interest in returning to the show as a judge as early as May.

“I think you need to be completely honest and I think you need to be diplomatic,” he said. “I think there’s no reason to be mean, but it’s called being a judge.” –

Here’s a clip of Harry Connick Jr.:

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