Harry Connick, Jr.: American Idol judge? Calm down

Once again, Harry Connick, Jr.’s appearance on American Idol has led to speculation and excitement that he might judge the Fox reality show. While he could clearly handle the job, he’s rejected it in the past, and doesn’t seem eager to take it now.

An E! News story excitedly announces that “he’s been approached about being a judge,” though it later points out this isn’t about next season and isn’t anything new.

He was “approached” not about American Idol 13 but in the past, as his direct quotation reveals: “It’s been talked about before, who knows what’ll happen in the future. What I’ve done thus far on the show has been really fun, so I’ve had a great time.”

Back in 2011, he was interested in the job but couldn’t join because, he said then, “I just had too many other things going on.”

Oh, also, in 2010, he was rumored to be Simon Cowell’s replacement–a rumor fueled by Simon Cowell himself.

Harry Connick, Jr., is such a great guest mentor that these suggestions, rumors, and stories have cropped up frequently over the past few years. But we have absolutely no memory of anything that occurred more than five seconds ago.

So, the Idol world, or what’s left of it, got all excited after he showed up this week as a guest mentor and demonstrated some competency and personality at the judges’ table. Because he’s awesome and sparred with the other judges, easily overshadowing them, once again people started immediately talking about him as possible future judge.

So will he ever judge? It doesn’t sound promising. As he told E!, “The last time I was here, I was so flattered that they were kind of talking about it. And it didn’t work out. There were a lot of things going on on their side and a lot of things going on on my side with just stuff. It’s hard to make a commitment like that.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.