*As speculation grows about another judging shakeup, one friend to the show has popped up as a serious contender.
Crooner Harry Connick, Jr. confirmed to reporters after Thursday’s results show that he has been talking with producers about joining next year’s panel. “They wanted to know if I would be interested and it’s a blast, but I don’t know, it’s hard to make a commitment like that,” Connick said backstage.
The actor and performer, whose new album “Every Man Should Know” is due June 11, mentored the Top 4 contestants this week and even had a heated argument at the judge’s table with Randy Jackson during Wednesday’s live show.
“You need to be completely honest and diplomatic,” Connick said of his judging method. “There’s no reason to be mean, but it’s called being a judge. You have to judge, that’s what you do.”
Connick previously mentored contestants during Season 9 and confirms he was also offered the role back then but declined because “it didn’t work out, there were a lot of things going on on their side and my side.” But his connection to Idol goes all the way back to Season 1, where he was an audience member for Kelly Clarkson’s victory.
“I’m a big fan of the show, and Justin Guarini looked and waved at me!” he said with a laugh.