Another week brings yet another change in the rumored lineup for American Idol season 13. Dr. Luke was thisclose to signing a deal but is no longer in the running, and now a singer very popular with fans is on the shortlist. Also in today’s Roundup, a well-known manager has declined an offer to join the panel, production on the new season may be delayed and Scotty McCreery has announced the details of his new album.

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Dr. Luke Bows Out

Just last week, it seemed all but certain that music producer Dr. Luke would be sitting alongside Keith Urban and the all-but-confirmed Jennifer Lopez at the judges’ table. But plans have changed after his record company stopped a deal from being finalized.

An insider told The Hollywood Reporter that the producer bowed out because of the time commitment involved in being a reality show judge, saying, “He really loves his artists and wants to build up the label. Luke wants to build an entertainment company … after a lot of conversations, both Luke and Sony Music CEO Doug Morris came to the mutual agreement that taking Dr. Luke out of the Idol running was the best thing for all parties.” While this may very well be true, we all know the number one reason for this happening.

Universal Music Group has the exclusive rights to release music by American Idol finalists. But Dr. Luke’s label is not UMG; rather, it’s Sony Music, which of course makes it a competing label. If he became a judge, he’d be advising and helping singers who, if they won, would get signed to a different record company than the one he works for. He’d essentially be helping out the opposition, the enemy, if you will. And of course Sony doesn’t want that to happen. Why would Idol go so far in the process of hiring him when they knew they’d be putting him into a tough situation like this?

Considering the issues that arose, maybe they should have gone with someone from Universal. How about Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun? Apparently, Jennifer Lopez was pushing hard for him to join the show, but he declined an offer. An source¬†told Hits Daily Double that the job “didn’t make sense for his business because he can’t manage any of the aspiring acts that appear on the show.” He joins Kanye West and Sean “Diddy” Combs on a list of people who received offers but decided not to sign on the dotted line.

Harry Connick, Jr. on Judges Shortlist

So who else is FOX considering for that third spot? It looks like it could be none other than Harry Connick, Jr., who has been a guest mentor on Idol two times in the past, including just this year, and received nothing but high praise for his contributions. Both times, rumors surfaced about the singer possibly joining the show as a judge. Deadline reports that he is on the shortlist of candidates.

Back in May, he said in an interview with E! News, “The last time I was here, I was so flattered that they were kind of talking about [hiring me]. And it didn’t work out. There were a lot of things going on on their side and a lot of things going on on my side with just stuff. It’s hard to making a commitment like that.” He said he was going on tour this year and wouldn’t have the time. But maybe he and FOX can come to an agreement that will allow him to still go on tour while they’re not filming.

At around the same time, I discussed the reasons why he would make a great judge. Among them, I noted that he’s knowledgeable and knows what he’s talking about. He doesn’t seem jaded in the way that, say, Randy Jackson has become over the years. Instead of shouting out catchphrases, he’d be able to provide specific and useful advice to the contestants. And to be honest, this is a TV show, after all, so personality is key as well, and HCJ has that in spades. But he’s also not afraid to confront the other judges: remember when he and Randy got into an argument over Kree’s performance? TV gold.

Everything is coming down to wire as filming for season 13 is scheduled to begin on September 3. Considering that’s just days away, it doesn’t sound like production will start on time, unless they can get a deal in place quick with Connick, Jr. And in fact,¬†The Hollywood Reporter notes that a delay could happen. No one is talking on the record about any of these reports and rumors, but even if production on the new season is delayed, they won’t be able to hold off for long and the cast will need to be announced soon.

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Scotty McCreery Announces New Album

For months now, all signs were pointing toward a new album from Scotty McCreery this fall, and fortunately for this fans, it is now official. The season 10 winner’s sophomore album, See You Tonight, will drop on October 15. Check out the cover art and track list below, courtesy of Music Row:

ScottyMcCreery-SeeYouTonight.jpgTrack List:

1. Now*
2. See You Tonight*
3. Get Gone with You
4. Feelin’ It

5. Feel Good Summer Song

6. Buzzin’

7. Can You Feel It*

8. The Dash

9. Blue Jean Baby

10. Forget to Forget You

11. I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend*

12. Carolina Moon

13. Something More*

Scotty has co-writing credit on the five marked tracks above. Also of interest, one of the songs, “The Dash,” is co-wrotten by Kyle Jacobs. Unless there’s another songwriter with the same name, it looks like Kellie Pickler’s husband has some involvement with the album.

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.