Jennifer Hudson Joins ‘American Idol’ as Judge

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Jennifer Hudson Joins ‘American Idol’ as Judge

“American Idol” is planning to shake up its judges’ panel in a pretty interesting way: all former "AI" contestants.

That’s the plan anyway and after multiple sources have confirmed to E! News that Jennifer Hudson is taking the first open spot, it seems to be a likely proposition.

The recording artist, and of course, Oscar-winning actress of Dreamgirls, has just signed a deal with the show to help scout and mentor talent for its 13th season. Fox currently has no comment on this report.

The concept this year is to theme the panel with an all “superstar-slum.” E! News has also learned from insiders that the other former ‘Idol’ contestants they’re courting include Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken and/or the inaugural winner Kelly Clarkson.

This is a smart plan considering that while it has lost a substantial percentage of its audience to competing programs like “The Voice,” “American Idol” is still the only show to consistently produce commercially viable stars and producers want to leverage that.

Even with talent like Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj on the show this year, the reality TV singing competition took a hard hit in viewership, down 10 million viewers from just a couple of seasons ago.

We’ll stay tuned to see if this rebranding strategy works with fans.

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