Harry Connick Jr. has landed the third American Idol judge spot.
The Hollywood Reporter cited a source close to the show, who confirmed that Connick would be joining the singing competition on the judge’s panel. The 45-year-old has appeared on the show multiple times as a performer and mentor.
Connick fueled the judge rumors back in May, saying, “You know, they kinda wanted to know if I would be interested in it … It’s been talked about before, who knows what’ll happen in the future.”
However, even though it was something he had considered, he wasn’t sure he would have time.
“I’m going on tour this year so, like, when would I do it? It’s that kind of thing There were a lot of things going on on their side and a lot of things going on on my side with just stuff,” he said. “It’s hard to make a commitment like that.”
Earlier this week, it looked like the three-time Grammy Award winner was one step closer to joining the judges panel. After producer Dr. Luke was taken out of the running due to a conflict of interest, the focus shifted back to Connick, who was on the “short list” of candidates to fill the third seat.
Dr. Luke was unable to join because of his deal with Sony Music, which he signed with in 2011. Universal Music Group, one of Sony’s competitors, holds the exclusive rights to American Idol‘s recording. Epic Records CEO L.A. Reid ran into a similar problem when he was in the running to join the competition’s tenth season. Epic is a division of Sony, and Reid signed with The X Factor— which has a recording partnership with Sony — instead.
A source also said that Dr. Luke — real name Lukasz Gottwald — also realized that a commitment to Idol would take up too much of his time.
“He really loves his artists and wants to build up the label [Kemosabe Records],” the source said. “Luke wants to build an entertainment company… after a lot of conversations, both Luke and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris came to the mutual agreement that taking Dr. Luke out of the Idol running was the best thing for all parties.”
Harry Connick Jr. joins Keith Urban, who became a judge last season, and Jennifer Lopez, who reportedly signed a $17.5 million deal to return to the competition.