The current leading candidates appear to be “Who I Am” singer Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers fame, and Pharrell Williams, the rapper and producer best known for his work with N.E.R.D and the Neptunes. Jackson will reportedly be taking on a mentoring role in the new season. Show insiders claim that both Williams and Jonas are in talks with the program.
“Nick is pretty close to signing to be the Idol judge,” said one anonymous insider. “They flew him into L.A. last week for final meetings.”
Inside sources believe that producers are relying on Jonas to bring a younger demographic back to the program. Nick is the youngest of the Jonas brothers, who became teen idols with Disney in the mid 00s.
Williams, 39, is responsible for dozens of billboard hits, having produced songs for popular acts such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stafani, in addition to his own work with N.E.R.D. Recently, he has produced tracks for Rick Ross’s new album “God Forgives, I Don’t,” and the song “Sweet Life” off Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange.” He is in currently in the process of negotiating a contract, according to insiders. “Everything is looking good, but they’re still working out details,” the source told Us.
Steven Tyler recently shed light on his two year run with Idol. “It was something to do while the storm blew by, to be honest… not my cup of tea. I loved it and hated it. It was a great job, I sat next to J.Lo and I made a ton of money. It was a moment in life and it became larger than life.”
Season 12 will premiere this winter, with host Ryan Seacrest standing in as one of the few returning faces after the idol shakeup. Fox has yet to comment on the signing of either Williams or Jonas.