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Thursday May 23, 2013 7:16 am

Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson for ‘American Idol’ Panel?

Jennifer Hudson and Kelly ClarksonFormer American Idol contestants Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson are set to return to the show as judges. Kelly - who won the first season in 2002 - and Jennifer - who placed seventh in 2004 - have been approached by producers to join the panel of the new series after they decided to replace Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban. Veteran judge Randy Jackson recently quit the show and bosses want to return to a three person format, with Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert among those who have been approached to take the final spot.

"Nothing is final yet, it's 95 per cent there. The alum panel will be Fox's attempt to reignite ratings by bringing back Idol faces that the fans care about. It's Idol stars guiding the next generation," a Fox source told E! News.

The decision to return to a three judge format for the first time in five years was reportedly made in a bid to combat the Fox show's declining ratings as it enters its 13th season. "The format will have fresh twists for next season," said Kevin Reilly, Fox's entertainment chairman. Kevin went on to hint the expanded middle rounds were likely to be revamped since he believes they are responsible for dwindling viewing figures.

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