All three American Idol judges will return

American Idol 14 will have the same judges panel as the 13th season, as Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., and Keith Urban are all returning. Ryan Seacrest will also host once again. None of this is a big surprise, and indicates that the show will likely tread the same waters it did this past season.

In a Fox press release, FremantleMedia North America entertainment president Trish Kinane called them “our dream team” and said they are “one of Idol’s strongest-ever judging panels.”

Not to nitpick a press release quote, but I’ll nitpick her quote and point out that she said “one of,” as in, there have been other strong panels and/or stronger ones. This panel is absolutely better than the Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey fiasco, which may explain why they’re staying.

Also in the press release, creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said, Their interaction, warmth and experience made them an absolute joy to watch.” That’s exactly right. The show dropped significantly in the ratings this year, and it’s kind of an aging ship that really can’t or won’t completely reinvent itself beyond the mostly cosmetic changes from this past season. But it has the best possible crew at this stage.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.