With FOX bosses panning a complete re-haul of the American Idol judging panel for next season, it has emerged that producers will no longer be looking to the stars for a new panel, but rather sticking with what they already have. The 2014 season will therefore be bringing back former Idol stars as judges for the next instalment of the long-running talent show, a plan that seems fool-proof, but may end up being a disaster.

As E! News reported on Friday (May 24), Jennifer Hudson has all but signed on the dotted line, effectively bringing her back to the show where she first made her name. Producers are also said to be eying up returns from the first Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, with either Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken being lined up to take on the remaining hot seat. The plan seems like a decent one as it will remind viewers and contestants of the star-making ability the show possesses (or at least what it once possessed) and will no doubt please die-hard Idol fans, however there may be a flaw to the plan as the move will effectively place Idol in it's own little bubble, free from outside influences.

Anyone who watches Idol and listens to popular music will know that the songs performed week in and week out do not necessarily reflect what is popular in the rest of the musical landscape, and it is really here where the problem with Idol lays. The poor viewing figures of recent series may be reflective of an unpopular judging panel, but it more likely reflects a irrelevance now held by the show in the rest of popular culture.

Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers 50
Jennifer Hudson has already been confirmed to return to Idol

Still, the idea does hold some merit and really and does anyone watch Idol for anything other than the auditions anyway? As long as the show doesn't change this then there will always be a stable viewership, but with the last series down a whopping 10 million from it's peak, the producers are going to have to come up with something rather spectacular to make things work as well as they once did.

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Clarkson is the original star of the show