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Is Jennifer Lopez Worth The $17.5 million on ‘American Idol’?

Is anyone even talking about JLo being on “American Idol”? Last week, season 13 premiered and the only question I had was: “Will she help save the show?” The answer I got was: “Everyone loves Harry Connick Jr.

After 10 successful years, Season 12 of “American Idol” left the reality-singing competition in shambles. Many critics blame it on the endless bickering between judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. The rivalry between the two singers got so out of hand that if Idol was to continue, it needed to kick the bitchiness out the back door and bring in major charisma.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show considered replacing Carey for Lopez midseason, but they dropped the plan after Carey “responded with a threat of litigation.”

Clearly the show’s producers thought that JLo was the charm needed and gave her $17.5 million – $2.5 million more than what she made in 2012 – to secure her as a judge for season 13, according to Forbes.

Jenny is very pleasant and is the heavyweight name that helped the show survive when Simon Cowell left in 2010, but it was Connick Jr who unexpectedly stole the spotlight.

During the debut many contestants nearly fainted from being in the presence of JLo, but had no idea who Connick was. “Keith and I are like bookends up here,” the saddened jazz singer said at one point. Then, 19-year-old Munfarid Zaidi walked in. “I read your Wikipedia page every day before going to sleep,” he told Connick who cradled the young man like a baby for giving a great performance. TV magic!


The start of the new season received many great reviews, like the one from the Los Angeles times claiming “Idol” got “its swagger back,” however the show didn’t perform well dropping 22 percent in ratings from last year’s premier.

But it’s not all bad. According to Entertainment weekly, the show dominated Wednesday’s ratings which was Fox’s “biggest night of entertainment programming this season and the first time in three years that “Idol” has returned higher than its previous year’s finale.” So it’s safe to say that there is a chance that more people will be inclined to tune in this week.

Although Connick is now the show’s main attraction, bringing JLo back was not a waste. A show like this needs at least one woman and audiences have responded positively to her in past seasons, not to mention that the three judges together have great chemistry and are a lot cheaper. According to Buzzfeed, in 2013 Minaj made $12 million and Carey $18 milion. Keith Urban, the third judge, is currently making $5 million and since Connick is not well known his salary will be closer to Urban’s.

So yes, JLo is good for “American Idol,” but the show is also great for her. The singer needs the exposure and earnings which back in 2012 boosted her to No. 1 on Forbes’ “Celebrity 100.” “A few years ago it looked like Lopez was done,” the publication stated. Being on the show “gave her a platform to promote her music and turn her image around. Lopez lapped up the media attention and scored lucrative endorsement deals … a clothing line [and] a top-selling fragrance.”

“Idol” also gave her the opportunity to enthuse fans for her world tour and the show “Q’Viva!” which she did after departing Idol.

Forbes adds that as of June 2013 the singer is making $45 million (She made $52 million in 2012) so that chunk of change from judging will surely help her climb her way up on the “Celebrity 100” list.

Share your thoughts on JLo’s return in the comments below. 

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