We might be closer to finding out who the judges will be for American Idol season 13, as more names have surfaced as possible contenders — is it a battle of the Jennifers? Also in today’s Roundup, listen to a preview of Carrie Underwood‘s version of the Sunday Night Football theme song, and Erika Van Pelt has released a music video for her new single.

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Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Hudson — That is the Question

Back in June, two-time judge Jennifer Lopez wasn’t sure if she would return to American Idol, but sources soon declared, “It’s not happening,” when new producers were brought on board. Now, however, it looks like her name has been put back into consideration — there’s a catch, though. The execs in charge are divided over the two Jennifers – Lopez and former contestant Jennifer Hudson. It’ll be one or the other, but not both.

TheWrap is reporting that Lopez is “in negotiations.” She previously earned about $15 million per season. With ratings for Idol not what they used to be, they can’t afford to shell out an infinite amount of money, so if she were to return, her paycheck would have to be lowered.

When the all-alumni panel rumor first surfaced (which never went anywhere because producers weren’t able to hire Kelly Clarkson), there was talk that Hudson had already signed a contract. We now know she would have earned between $4 million and $5.5 million. Nothing was ever finalized at the time, though now there’s a chance that still might happen. If talks with Lopez fall through, the Oscar winner is in, but if a deal can be reached with Lopez, Hudson is out. So it sounds like everything hinges on “Jenny from the Block,” who was rejected twice by The Voice — first to perform during the finale and then to be a mentor. Sounds like she really wants to be back on TV.

The indecision with the Jennifers isn’t the only drama going on behind the scenes as the September start date for filming gets closer. According to TheWrap, new Fremantle producer Per Blankens (formerly of Swedish Idol) “wants the show to go with the biggest possible talent, while Fox is more interested in a balanced panel than in spending diva dollars.” FOX has realized they can’t afford to spend tens of millions of dollars anymore and seems to be realistic about their options. Let’s hope Blankens follows suit.

Aside from that back and forth drama, what about the other seats that need to be filled at the judges’ table? It’s looking more and more likely that Keith Urban, who’s been in limbo not knowing his fate since season 12 ended, will in fact return. And the “top contender” for the third and final spot is The Black-Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, who is a coach on The Voice UK — he’s reportedly also negotiating a contract at the moment.

Other names have also been floating around as possible contenders for Idol. These include Dr. Luke, Adam Lambert (though it sounds less likely he’ll sign on), Pharrell Williams, Grace Potter and The Band Perry’s Kimberly Perry. The final three names here along with will.i.am were recently included in an iCountUSA survey that asked for people’s thoughts and whether they would be good judges or not. (By the way, I took part in this survey.)

In our last Roundup, we reported on Ryan Seacrest saying that fans will be “very excited” by the panel. He wasn’t too clear how much he knew, but now he’s saying, “I’ve been involved in the conversations that have been going on. … It will be confirmed soon.”

So many names, and only three positions available. I think it’s safe to say that what we can take away from this latest batch of rumors is that, unless everything gets upended yet again, our season 13 judging panel will either be Jennifer Lopez/will.i.am/Keith Urban or Jennifer Hudson/will.i.am/Keith Urban, with the former as the most likely outcome.

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Preview Carrie Underwood‘s Sunday Night Football Theme Song

Starting this September, Carrie Underwood will be the voice of the Sunday Night Football theme song, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night.” And while a full version has yet to be released, listen to a 45-second preview of Carrie’s version below, from the TCA press tour:

Tune in September 8 on NBC Sports to hear the entire song when the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys face off.

Erika Van Pelt’s “Listen Learn Then Delete” Music Video

Season 11’s Erika Van Pelt, who had a fantastic voice despite not connecting with viewers, has released a music video for her new single “Listen Learn Then Delete” — interesting title. It’s an upbeat number with a catchy melody and lyrics:

“Listen Learn Then Delete” will be included on her soon-to-be-released debut album My Independence.

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(Images courtesy of WENN)

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.