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Ryan Seacrest Performs on ‘American Idol’

Ryan SeacrestRyan Seacrest performed on American Idol last night.

The 39-year-old star - who has fronted the talent show since it began in 2002 - took to the stage on the show's finale for a surprise musical performance, which was introduced by program mentor Randy Jackson. Wearing a tuxedo, Ryan sang Richard Marx's classic ballad "Right Here Waiting" - which quickly turned into a duet when the curtains rose to reveal the crooner and the two performed together at the piano.

Speaking afterwards, Ryan jokingly told the audience, "I apologize. [That was my] moment in the sun."

Judge Harry Connick Jr. claimed the performance would trigger a new career direction for the host. "My prediction? You're going to have a record deal before this night is over," he joked. Ryan replied, "I hope not."

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‘American Idol’ to Return to Three Judge Format

Current panelists and host of 'American Idol'

American Idol is returning to a three judge format. The singing competition's 13th season will have a diminished panel for the first time in five years in a bid to combat the Fox show's declining ratings.

Kevin Reilly, Fox's entertainment chairman, also revealed current judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj had been invited back, despite veteran mentor Randy Jackson deciding to leave the panel. "The format will have fresh twists for next season," the TV boss said. 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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Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez for American Idol?

Justin Bieber and Selena GomezJustin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Pink and Diddy are being lined up for the new season of American Idol.

Producers on the show are reportedly desperate to sign up the quartet to replace current judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Keith Urban after ratings fell dramatically this year.

"It's been a lackluster season for Idol and everyone involved with the show is well aware of it so that's why producers are franticly working on lining up big name stars for season 14. There's more drama going on behind the scenes of the show than on the stage, and that's why there's a major overhaul in the works. A telling sign was that the highlight of the season was Mariah and Nicki's explosive feud that was leaked on the web - and that was before the season even aired. Producers have been trying to recreate that buzz ever since and it hasn't worked - the public isn't buying it. The judges don't have real chemistry, and there's no real standout contestant," a source said.

The source additionally explained the choice in choosing the rumored new judges:

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Randy Jackson Will Remain a Judge on American Idol

Randy JacksonRandy Jackson will remain as a judge on American Idol.

Although it was thought that the music producer - who has been on the panel of the show since it began - would take on the role of a mentor behind the scenes for the upcoming season, he has agreed a deal with Fox to stay on as a judge after negotiations with Enrique Iglesias fell though, according to Deadline.

"Just heard Randy is back on Idol. Right decision," Randy's former co-star Simon Cowell wrote on Twitter, appearing to confirm the news.

Randy will join Mariah Carey on the four person panel which is also expected to feature Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj. Mariah is not thought to be a fan of Nicki's, although producers are delighted at the prospect of conflict between them both. Instead, the "Fantasy" hitmaker is said to be keen for Lenny Kravitz to sign up to the show.

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Randy Jackson Out of American Idol Panel

Randy JacksonRandy Jackson has left American Idol as a judge.

The music producer - who has been on the panel of the show since it began - will instead become a "mentor" behind the scenes, as producers still want him involved. "There's some concern among the brass that Jackson is not well-suited for the mentor role... but they feel they need him because he's the glue that helps keep the show together," a source told TMZ.

Mariah Carey has already signed on to be a judge on the show - after Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler quit - and Nicki Minaj is expected to be another new addition. Mariah is not thought to be a fan of Nicki's, although producers are delighted at the prospect of conflict between them both.

Currently it is hoped there will be four judges this year, with the third seat taken by a country music star and the fourth unknown.

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Adam Lambert to Judge American Idol?

Adam LambertAdam Lambert is set to join the American Idol judging panel.

The flamboyant singer - who came second on the talent search contest in 2009 - is said to have been in talks for a month with show bosses, who see him as the perfect addition to the programme because he has such a big fan base and would understand the challenges the contestants must deal with.

"He personifies the show, and will be a popular choice right from the start. He knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of the judges' comments, he has a human touch, and they know they can't go wrong if they bring him on. He would be able to bring a unique perspective to the show. People love him," a source told E! News.

The panel currently features Jennifer Lopez - who is rumored to be leaving to focus on her music career - Steven Tyler, both of whom joined the show two years ago, and Randy Jackson, who has been a judge since it began.

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American Idol 10: Winner!

American Idol’s 10th finale opened with all due pomp and circumstance. Ryan Seacrest wore a tuxedo, but black tie was optional for everyone else. More than 122 million votes, a record number, were counted to determine whether Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery would become the next American Idol.

The year’s Top 13 performed “Born This Way” to open the night’s festivities, each dressed in white like angels. If only they sounded like angels. To call the number bad would be too nice. But the show would improve vastly from here...

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American Idol 10: Top 2 Perform

American Idol 10 - Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery

American Idol kicked off the first installment of its finale shows with clips of past Idols and its two current contestants. The stage was set for drama, the Nokia Theater was packed with people and we were all ready to count the cowboy hats as the hour-long performance episode kicked off.

Ryan Seacrest called the battle “the boy next door versus the southern belle.” They are Idol’s youngest two contestants to face off in the final round. Both gained early attention from judges and fans, both are absolutely country singers, both want to win badly. Despite reports from TMZ that the finale might have been otherwise, Lauren Alaina was indeed ready to perform on Tuesday. According to the doctor that Idol trotted on stage, Lauren belted too hard in her rehearsal and blew out a vocal cord.

Think it’ll affect the voting? Doesn’t everything?

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American Idol 10: Top 3 Perform

American Idol 10 - Top 3

Top 3 week of American Idol is always pretty big (for them). Each contestant goes home for a big celebration, with full rock star treatment.

And even James Durbin, who was eliminated last week, went back home to a hero’s welcome. But only Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina are left to compete for votes. And of the three, only two will be a part of the show’s big finale next week.

The show snagged a superstar for Top 3 week: Beyonce. There’s no need to expound on her credentials; they’re too evident. She definitely has the knowledge to help the Top 3.

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American Idol 10: Top 4 Perform

American Idol 10 - Top 4

The pressure’s on as American Idol’s tenth season winds down. On Wednesday night, the competition was all even: two girls, two guys… two country singers, two more that are much harder to classify. But who would shine above the rest? Keep reading to get the full Top 4 recap...

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