American Idol Hire Harry Connick Jr. As New Judge?

American Idol is reportedly signing a deal with Harry Connick Jr. for the crooner to become a judge on the upcoming season of the Fox singing talent competition show.

Connick would replace auto-tuned entertainer Nicki Minaj on the show and he would join the judging roster of last season's judge Keith Urban and returning judge Jennifer Lopez.

News of the Connick judging deal comes from a story published by the Hollywood Reporter which says that an unnamed source "close to" American Idol told them that the singer is "inking a deal."

The show suffered a major drop in rating last year with judges Minaj and Mariah Carey. Randy Jackson, who was a judge on the show from the beginning, will be giving up his judging duties this year and will instead act as a mentor to contestants, a role that Harry Connick, Jr. had played in the past.

The Hollywood Reporter story states that last Thursday, American Idol producer Simon Fuller hosted a small party and that Jackson, Urban, Lopez and Connick were there to "toast the forthcoming announcement."

The following morning, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest teased an announcement from the show by tweeting, "Got some @AmericanIdol news for you coming very soon…"

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