Former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson named as new judge

CALIFORNIA, United States, Friday May 31, 2013 – With rumours continuing to swirl that Fox executives are on the verge of a panel-scrapping shakeup to revive American Idol’s flagging ratings, former contestant turned superstar Jennifer Hudson has reportedly signed on to be one of the new judges on the reality competition show later this year.

According to a report in E! News, Hudson, who got her start in show business after appearing on season three of Idol in 2004, has finalized a deal to join the judges’ panel for season 13.

While the judges only ranked her in seventh place, Hudson went on to prove them wrong in a career that outstripped her fellow contestants and saw her become a Grammy-winning singer and Academy Award-winning actress for Dreamgirls.

E! News reports that 31-year-old Hudson may be joining the Idol judging panel with other former contestants in an innovative bid to recapture the reality contest’s market share.

Idol is said to be looking to shakeup the show with a new panel, and word has it that Kelly Clarkson and either Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken are up for consideration.

Clarkson, 31, emerged as winner of the first season of Idol back in 2002, while Aiken, 34, was the season two runner-up in 2003 and Lambert, 31, was the season eight runner-up in 2009.

As for the season 12 panel, the only member known to have quit of his own volition is veteran judge Randy Jackson, who announced earlier this month that he will be leaving the show after 12 years unbroken service.

Jackson’s season 12 co-stars, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Trinidad-born Nicki Minaj, have neither confirmed nor denied that they will be returning to the show, and Fox has declined comment.

Minaj, Carey and Urban joined American Idol as judges in September for its 12th season after the departures of megastar Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

Minaj, one of the hottest voices in rap and hip-hop, and Carey, with more than 200 million album sales to her credit, were expected to breathe new life into the show, which last year lost its eight-year reign as the most-watched show on American TV. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)