‘American Idol’ Judges’ Panel: A Complete Sweep or Keep Keith?

Keith Urban Has Made No Secret of the Fact that He’d like to Return to ‘Idol’ Next Season, but Will They Have Him?

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Keith Urban is still working on his new album -- "Fuse" is slated to drop on Sept. 10 -- and he has a tour that's scheduled to start in July. But that doesn't mean the "American Idol" Season 12 judge doesn't want to make time to come back for Season 13 of the TV talent competition.

According to Yahoo Music, after last week's "Idol" finale, the country singer told backstage press reporters he'd come back next season if he's asked. "I would, yeah! I mean, I literally enjoyed coming to work every day. And that's a rarity," he said.

But has he been asked? Amid rumors of a complete sweep of the judges' table, Urban admitted there has been "talk" about his return, according to Entertainment Weekly. And he recently told the Associated Press he's as in the dark as the rest of us when it comes to next season's panel.

"I have no official information of anything," the 45-year-old singer said. "I'm pretty much in the same boat as everybody else here with the rumors that have been floating around. I don't know anything more about what's happening next season. It was like this before I signed on ... so it's not unusual for the 'Idol' folks to be in this place of figuring out what they want to do, then they always pull it together."

While Urban has made no secret of the fact that he'd like to come back next season, his Season 12 co-worker Randy Jackson has already given his notice so he can work on other projects, while Mariah Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, recently told Life & Style that his wife is "focused on her real career of being a singer." And while no official announcement has been made regarding Nicki Minaj's status on the show, an insider told Us Weekly she'll be focusing on her own music and endorsement deals.

With a few glaring exceptions, most of the past "Idol" judges have stepped down from the show willingly. Last year Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez left the show so they could go back to making music, while Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul previously left the show to work on other projects.

Although last season's show was known more for the judges' in-fighting than the contestants' talent, Urban explained, "I did as much as I could in the environment we had." But with the diva dynamics between Nicki and Mariah presumably gone next season ("Idol" alum Jennifer Hudson has reportedly signed on to the show), could Keith return to the judges' table and actually get a word in edgewise?

What do you think? Is it time for a complete judges' sweep, or should the "Idol" powers-that-be keep Keith?

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