Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez join revamped "American Idol"

Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:40pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star and actress Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith rocker Steven Tyler are joining TV singing contest "American Idol" as judges in a major overhaul aimed at keeping the show No. 1 with viewers as it enters its 10th year.

Producers on Wednesday announced the signing of Lopez, 41, the singer and star of movies such as "The Wedding Planner", and Tyler, 61, at a glitzy event in Los Angeles that ended months of speculation over who would join the judging panel.

Record producer Randy Jackson remains the only original judge since the program debuted on Fox television in 2001, and Ryan Seacrest will remain as host.

"American Idol" producers announced other big changes to get away from what they called the "karaoke" feel of the show when it returns to U.S. television in January 2011 after a four year ratings decline.

Universal Music executive Jimmy Iovine will act as an in-house mentor and will be featured behind the scenes working weekly with aspiring pop stars as they compete to become the 2011 "American Idol."

Major record producers like Timbaland also will work with the contestants, but celebrity guest mentors will not be used and contestants must dance more. The moves are a bid to find genuine stars like first champion Kelly Clarkson who went on to a Grammy-winning career.

"We are 10 years-old and we are being given the opportunity to recreate the magic," returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said at a news conference announcing the changes. "We have got to go back to creating an 'American Idol'"


<p>Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson stand together after being announced as the judges for the 10th season of the television show "American Idol" at the Forum in Inglewood, California September 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>