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Keith Urban May Be Returning to ‘American Idol’ This Season

Keith Urban
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

There’s a big shakeup going on at ‘American Idol‘ this year. The hit Fox reality singing competition has an almost completely new team for its upcoming thirteenth season, but host Ryan Seacrest hints that country’s own Keith Urban may be returning to his judging chair.

Fellow Season 12 judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj already announced their departures amid rumors that Fox — unhappy with last year’s ratings — intended to replace them. Also out is longtime judge Randy Jackson, who revealed he was leaving before last season was even complete.

The show’s executive producers are also gone, as is the head of Fox’ reality TV division. So far, that makes Seacrest the only familiar face confirmed to return this season.

‘Idol’ has already kicked off this year’s auditions, and at the San Francisco tryouts recently, Seacrest avoided a direct answer when asked if Urban was returning. “I was with Keith yesterday, we embraced, and said to each other, ‘I hope we get to spend a lot of time together,’” he replied (quote via MJsBigBlog). “He’s a great guy, and I’ve become a very good friend.” Urban has previously expressed his interest in judging for another season.

Seacrest also hinted that this year’s judges are already set. “Based on what I have heard, the audience that watches ‘American Idol’ is going to be very excited about the panel that we’ve put together for this Season 13,” he declares. “It’s a very special season. And I think you’ll see some good chemistry this year.”

Judges rumored for the upcoming season include ‘Idol’ alumni Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert. Fox has made no announcement regarding the panel for Season 13 of ‘American Idol.’

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