Top 10 Almost 'American Idol' Judges

American Idol is returning for its thirteenth season come January and America has long been awaiting the announcement of the season’s judges. Fox recently confirmed Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez will join Keith Urban at the table, and of course Ryan Seacrest will host. Also announced, Randy Jackson will be returning to the show as a mentor. Fans seem to be taking the news positively. American Idol has kept itself relevant after the departure of the three original judges, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson by keeping a panel of successful celebrities on board. In honor of the awaited announcement here is a list of the top 10 judges that almost were. For some reason, be it scheduling, money, lack of interest, or any other reasons these stars were in the talks to become judges on the hit show for one season or another and it just didn’t happen.

10. Kanye West.

K. West (cropped)

Kanye was reportedly offered a position for the upcoming season. However, a source told Us Weekly that the rapper didn’t want to lose any street cred, so he turned it down.

9. Will.I.Am

The Black Eyed Peas Singing at Walmart Shareholders Meeting 2011 2 cropped

The Black Eyed Peas band member reportedly turned down the judging gig this season. He instead will return for his third season as a coach on the U.K. version of The Voice.

8. Kelly Clarkson.


The show’s original winner denied reports of talking to Fox about judging the show for season 13, despite discussions of having an all alumni panel reports The Hollywood Reporter. Whether Kelly admits it or not, we’re pretty sure had she come knocking, Idol would have let her back in with open arms.

7. Bret Michaels


Michaels was in the running to be a judge for season 11, but didn’t make the cut. "I made it into the top five people. It came down to five people in the end," Michaels said. "I was disappointed. I'd love to have done it. I'm competitive, so it would have been great”, the rocker told MTV News.

6. Cee-Lo Green


Cee-Lo admitted to being approached by Randy Jackson to judge. He told The Urban Daily that he didn’t think the position was right for him. He later signed on as a judge for The Voice.

5. Katy Perry

Katy Perry 2008

Katy reportedly turned down $20 Million to be a judge for the 2013 season, which is more than Mariah Carey ended up getting paid to be on panel. A source told Us Weekly that Katy was being “hotly pursued”. Doesn’t look like she’s hurting too bad after turning down all that money!

4. Elton John

Elton John 2011 Shankbone 2

Sir Elton John has reportedly been in the sights of Idol producers since Simon Cowell left in 2010. Access Hollywood reported that the singer turned down the whopping $33 million judge’s paycheck. His rep had no comment.

3. Dolly Parton.

Dolly Parton in Nashville 2

Dolly has turned down Idol and X Factor. However the country singer told Taste of Country that one show she might like to work on is NBC’s The Voice. “Being successful means I can pick and choose the projects I like.” Dolly said.

2. Victoria Beckham.


It wouldn’t have been the first time for Victoria to work with the show’s producer Simon Fuller. He was the manager of the Spice Girls when they were around and still manages Victoria . Fuller says of Posh, “We toyed with the idea but she is just so busy with her fashion”, to Reality TV Magazine.

1. Dr. Luke
The famous producer and song writer was in the running to judge for the upcoming season. And although he would be a great choice for the show from having so much experience working with tons of stars including P!nk, Katy Perry and Britney Spears, Universal Music Group (the label Idol artists are signed to) is a huge competitor to Luke’s own company, Sony Music and it would just have been too much conflict of interest, The Hollywood Reporter announced.

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