Variety reports that the country singer has been confirmed as the second judge. Meanwhile, the third spot has yet to be filled. The site further suggests that the show has decided to go with a panel of three judges, just like previous seasons, instead of four.
Lionel Richie is reportedly no longer in the running despite having advanced talks to join show. It may be linked to the rumors claiming that the production and Lionel's team didn't reach an agreement in terms of salary.
Also said to be in the mix for the gig are Charlie Puth and Keith Urban, but it looks unlikely that either will join the show. As for Keith, the husband of Nicole Kidman personally shut down the possibility of him rounding out the judges' table. "I think it's going to be all new people except for [host] Ryan [Ryan Seacrest]," he said at that time.
Rumor had it that Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian were also considered to join the show as the judge. The idea of hiring Kim came from her pal Ryan. "Promotion and social media are now just as important to being a successful artist as singing and no one knows that world better than his pal Kim," said a source of the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star.
As for Selena, "producers think that Selena would be great to join the judging panel because she'd bring in a younger crowd for ratings." A source added, "She'd be considered the nice judge and they would love her to join because the impact she has with social media."
"American Idol" is set to return in March 2018 on ABC, premiering shortly after the Oscars. The show is said to be airing on Sunday and Monday nights, though it remains to be seen whether it will be on the network's primetime schedule.