Original ‘American Idol’ judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are to return to the singing competition to celebrate its last ever season.
The trio discovered singers including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood during their eight-season stint on the judging panel from 2002 until Paula left in 2010.
The show was cancelled due to dwindling ratings, and will bow out following the 15th and final season, which begins in January (16) with returning judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr.
Long-running host Ryan Seacrest has confirmed the new judges will be joined by the original line-up during the series, but their roles on the show have yet to be decided.
“I’ve spoken to all of them (Simon, Paula and Randy) recently and we as a team have talked to them about coming back to do something for the final season. They are going to do it it’s just a matter of figuring what to do with them,” Ryan tells Access Hollywood.
It is not known if other judges including Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Steven Tyler will return.
Mariah previously insisted in May (15) she would never come back to the show, calling it “the worst experience of my life” due to her headline-grabbing onscreen feud with Nicki in 2013.
She added, “I’m not going to get into what it was, but let’s just say I don’t think they had any intentions for us to have a good experience doing that show. Pitting two females against each other wasn’t cool…
“It should have been about the contestants instead of about some nonexistent feud that turned into even more ridiculousness… I would never want to be involved with it again.”
Jennifer, who has been on the panel since 2014, still hopes American Idol will survive despite the cancellation announcement.
“You know, I don’t believe anything… It’s not over till it’s over”, she told Ellen DeGeneres. “So I just feel like you never know. Yes they’ve announced it’s the last season next year, but… after the finale this week and you feel that moment… You remember why you love this show.”