Keith Urban WILL return as a judge on "American Idol" next season, officials confirmed on Thursday, Aug. 1, following months of uncertainty amid the departures of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.
The two female singers and Urban had made their debut on the judges' panel alongside veteran cast member Randy Jackson at the start of the most recent 12th season of the singing competition series. Ratings for "American Idol" have fallen in recent years, although it remains one of the most-watched primetime shows.
"Did you hear?! It's confirmed: @KeithUrban will be back at the judges table for American Idol XIII. We love you KU!" read a tweet posted on the official "American Idol" Twitter page.
"Thrilled to be back on @AmericanIdol with my pal @RyanSeacrest and dying to know who the other judges will be!!!! -KU," the country star said on Twitter.
The May finale was the lowest-rated season ending for "American Idol" since its debut in 2002. Jackson said a week before it aired that he is leaving the show. Carey and Minaj confirmed their own departures two weeks later.
Urban told reporters before the finale that he would like to remain a judge for season 13, which is set to premiere in January 2014.
Open auditions for "American Idol" hopefuls are set to be held later this month. The dates are as follows:
- Aug. 17 - Little Rock, Arkansas
- Aug. 19 - Oxford, Mississippi
- Aug. 21 - Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Aug. 23 - Knoxville, Tennessee
- Aug. 26 - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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