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Urban back on Idol, 'girls' rule on X Factor

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Keith Urban is returning to American Idol.

Fox chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed the return of the country music star, settling the fate of the only judge left from last season on the talent competition.

"He did a really good job last year," Reilly said. "The fans really like him."

Reilly said Urban didn't have a chance to show his personality. The country singer was routinely overshadowed by bickering between fellow judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. Their departures, along with that of Randy Jackson, were announced weeks ago.

But Reilly was mum on who would sit beside Urban at the judges' table next season, which begins in January. Reilly said there have been discussions with Jennifer Lopez, a former judge.

Meanwhile, the mostly female judges' panel for The X Factor reflects the "girls' world" of today's music business, Simon Cowell says.

When X Factor returns next month for its third season, Cowell will share judging duties on his show with returning panelist Demi Lovato, along with two newcomers: former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland and Latin artist Paulina Rubio.

The music charts are dominated by women, Cowell said.

He compared last season's judging panel, with record producer Antonio "L.A." Reid and Britney Spears, to a dinner party that wasn't as fun as expected.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 3, 2013 G2

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