According to sources, Fox was looking to go with an industry professional versus another celebrity. The show’s producers were trying to avoid adding another woman to the equation after last season’s beef between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. The friction didn’t go over too well with the older female demographic.
Fox declined to comment on any aspect of Idol business.
Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez reportedly have committed to judging this Idol season.
Luke’s deal unraveled because his camp feared his involvement with the show would take away from commitments to his label at Sony Music. But Luke really wanted to be an idol judge and continued to plead with Sony Music CEO Doug Morris. He even offered to give the label half of his Idol fee, said to be about $12 million according to sources.
For Luke, the sacrifice would not be great as he is said to earn more than $30 million a year from his music business.
According to sources, Morris didn’t budge because Sony’s competitor, Universal Music Group, holds the exclusive rights to American Idol recordings. He apparently doesn’t want Luke helping out the competition.
Meanwhile, sources say Fox and Idol producers are upset with CAA — which collects millions in packaging fees on Idol — for assuring them that Luke’s contract would allow him to take the job. When Fox attorneys examined the deal with Sony Music, they found that Luke was not free after all. CAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.