Jennifer Lopez was announced on Tuesday, Sept. 3 as a returning judge on "American Idol," joining newcomer Harry Connick Jr. and returning season 12 judge Keith Urban -- a decision that was not a simple one for the female superstar.
Lopez, who served as a judge during seasons 10 and 11 alongside Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and veteran judge Randy Jackson, talked about it on "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest's Los Angeles radio show.
"It was one of those things where like, you know how hard it was for me to walk away the first time and I went off and I did my tour and everything," Lopez said to Ryan Seacrest. "To be honest, right now is the worst time for me to stop and do 'American Idol.' I'm doing two movies, I have my album coming out, I have so much stuff going on. But honestly, I'm doing it because I want to."
Lopez also revealed that she had the chance to have dinner with Connick Jr. and Urban before the announcement was made, telling Seacrest she is excited to have the chance to work with them.
"I'm excited about the new guys," Lopez said. "I met them and we sat down and had dinner and it's always just this special kind of experience, a special journey, that's why it's been America's number one show for so long, it's something special about it. I'm glad that they wanted me back, even though I said 'no' last year."
It was widely reported that season 12 judge Mariah Carey netted $17 million for her one-season stint on the show. FOX does not confirm judges' salaries. Lopez told Seacrest that her decision to return to the show was not because of money.
"This is something I just want to do," Lopez said. "I know everybody likes to make a big deal about money and stuff like that, but for me it's not about that stuff. I don't have to do it for those reasons, I do it because I love it. It's in my heart and it's something I enjoy doing."
Lopez also gave insight as to what kind of chemistry audiences can expect from the new judging panel when the show returns to FOX in January 2014.
"They're real jokers, Harry's a real joker," Lopez said. "He's really straightforward and so funny with that kind of New Orleans charm. He's going to be a big asset this year as far as bringing a lot of entertainment value to the show. Watching Keith last year, you know that he's great at it too so, I think we're going to have an amazing year."