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EDITIONS
Friday, 18 October, 2002, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Judges return for next US Idol
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini
Last time Clarkson won with 58% of the vote
Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are all to return as judges for the second series of American Idol, the US version of the hit Pop Idol TV format.

Trade magazine Variety reported that TV network Fox also planned to augment the panel with a fourth judge, who, they said, would "add a different and unique perspective" to the judging.

The American Idol judges
Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell: Back together
Ryan Seacrest will return to host the next American Idol, said Variety, quoting insiders' reports that he is likely to be paired with a female host.

Original partner Brian Dunkleman has already announced that he is not to return.

The show launches its next talent search on Monday in Detroit.

Hopefuls

There will also be auditions in New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Miami and Austin follow, culminating in the Los Angeles heats on 17 November.

Hopefuls at the auditions will be required to sing an unaccompanied song, chosen from a list provided by producers.

Kelly Clarkson
More than 22m watched Kelly win the first series
If asked, they may also sing a second song of their own choosing.

The first series was a major hit for Fox, with the final, in which Texas cocktail waitress Kelly Clarkson took on former salesman Justin Guarini, seen by 22.8 million viewers.

The new American Idol Greatest Moments compilation album also hit number four in the US album charts while winner Clarkson's single A Moment Like This topped the US singles charts.

A number of show's finalists have also secured record deals.

See also:

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