Sorry "Idol" lovers, your long national nightmare will drag on a week longer.
In a press release that paves the ground for another forthcoming press release, Fox announced Thursday that it will unveil the "American Idol" judges panel … next Wednesday.
At the Fabulous Forum.
Will it be J-Lo? Will it be Steven Tyler? Will it be an out-of-left field talking head like Tommy Mottola? Or Elton John? Or an even loonier choice like shock jock Howard Stern?
No word yet from the good folks at News Corp. whose comment throughout the rumor-filled summer has been a steady "no comment." But the sly devils know how to tease a beat reporter. So promising "The AMERICAN IDOL Season Ten judges’ panel is confirmed," they added that the big reveal won't happen until next week when Ryan Seacrest will take the stage with his new "Idol" mates at the former home of the Lakers.
The search for replacements for departing judges Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres had dominated the entertainment news since Cowell announced that he would be leaving the hit Fox show last January in order to focus on bringing a U.S. version of his British reality-competiton series "The X Factor" to the network next fall.
Then DeGeneres, whose one season on the show was widely viewed as one of the worst in its eight-year history, announced in July that she was bailing. The comic acknowledged that the experience of mixing in quips with musical criticism was not an entirely happy one for her.
Finally, in August, as had been widely expected, Kara DioGuardi (also known as the judge everyone forgets about), revealed that she would be leaving the show, too. It has been expected that returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe will take the show back to its three-judge format.
The fact that Randy Jackson has thus far held onto his job seems to give credence to the belief that he will be returning for season 10. Since that time, possible additions to the "Idol" family have widely centered on Lopez and Tyler, but speculation has also included such big names as Elton, John, Harry Connick Jr. and Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher. There were even suggestions that Paula Abdul would pack up her stream of consciousness stylings and return to the show.
Still, the safe bet is that come next Wednesday, "Jenny from the block" and the Aerosmith front man will be stopping by The Forum for a grip and grin with Seacrest.