Jennifer Lopez: Confirmed New ‘American Idol’ Judge w/ 12 Million Payday

After weeks of rumors and speculations about Jennifer Lopez’s diva demands costing her a seat at the American Idol’s judges table, it is official that Lopez will definitely be an Idol judge when the show returns for its 10th season.

But all the back and forth came from a little drama behind the scenes. According to Deadline Hollywood, Lopez asked for a 15 million dollar paycheck, but Idol producers FOX, Fremantle and 19 Entertainment balked so she reportedly settled for 12 million to judge the talent competition.  J. Lo also wanted a ‘vanity’ package that would include a movie and TV development deal at FOX, but the studio passed on that as well. Lopez’s movie career took a dip when her recent film, The Back Up Plan bombed at the box office this spring. And reportedly there’s a reason for the delay of the Lopez-AI announcement; Team Lopez wants the news to coincide with the release of the first single from her new album Love? which will be released in mid-September. This is also the same Love? that Lopez’s former label home Sony, cancelled last April. The project will now be released on her new label Def Jam. With Jenny from the Block’s slight acting and singing slump her move to Idol makes a lot of sense at this juncture in her career. Like the up and down trajectory of Paula Abdul’s musical path from dancing pop princess turned reality star, AI could just be the comeback move that 41-year old Lopez needs in a world filled with 20-something pop stars.

Alongside Lopez and Randy Jackson, the only original judge since the show’s premiere, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler has hinted that he will “probably” be a judge. And other rumored celeb panel possibilities include Shania Twain, Harry Connick Jr. and Elton John.

Forget the contestants, find out which other judges will make the cut when American Idol returns to airwaves in January 2011.—Ronke Idowu Reeves