Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez has signed on to become one of the judges on the Fox hit reality series, American Idol.

After weeks of on-again, off-again reports of Lopez’s status as a prospective judge, the singer-actress has agreed to a $12 million contract to become a judge for the show’s 10th season.

Fox and American Idol have been in the news often, as they scramble to find and secure judges prior to call backs in the fall.  Simon Cowell retired at the end of the ninth season. His exit was followed, unexpectedly, by Ellen DeGeneres.  She said she felt the show was not the right fit.  And just recently, songwriter Kara DioGuardi announced she would not return to the show.

Sources close to Lopez say she is very excited about her role on the show.  She has been hoping to gain a few more benefits as part of the contract, but agreed to the $12 million salary.

Neither Fox, nor representatives for Lopez, have made official statements regarding the deal.

The show still has to replace at least one judge.  The rumored options are quite varied.  Steven Tyler, Shania Twain, Harry Connick Jr., and Elton John, have all been mentioned as possibilities.

Fox has not made clear whether the only remaining original judge, Randy Jackson, will return for the 10th season.

(image:flikr/Reza Vaziri)