Harry Connick Jr. is back for next season of American Idol and is thrilled to be a part of the show’s 15th and final installment. “I’m honored,” he said to reporters backstage after Tuesday’s finale. “I was a fan of the show from the first season and then they asked me to be a mentor a few years back, I was thrilled. Then somebody asked me to be a judge and I was even more excited because I felt like I was part of something truly phenomenal and historical,” he added.
But after singing Idol’s praises, the Season 14 judge shared his condolences over the show taking its final bow. “I found out recently that it was going to be the last year and as bittersweet as it is, I really feel that I’m a part of something…that’s unforgettable,” he explained. And though the news of Fox’s decision to end the show has brought him down, Connick Jr. did divulge his predication that Season 15 would garner the best contestants that American Idol has ever seen.
“I think they’re gonna come out of the woodwork next year, ‘cause everyone wants to be a part of the last season,” he explained. “Boy, it’s gonna be crazy!” The Idol mentor-turned-judge also declared that he expects a fresh batch of prospects to show up for the final season and urged more hopefuls to come out to auditions: “I need more talent to show up!”
As far as life post Idol, Connick Jr. says that he has a lot in the works. “We’re finishing up a record that’s going to be coming out soon and we’re going to be touring this summer,” he explained.
But while his plate is filled with enough to keep him busy through the summer, the singer admitted that his post-Idol plans have not quite been sorted out yet. “After 15, I don’t even know what I’m doing next,” he joked. He did, however, admit to wanting to add a trip to Vegas to check out his colleague, Jennifer Lopez’s upcoming residency to his wish list.
“I’d love to see JLo in Vegas! What’s crazy is that she’s not even in the big room, she’s right there in the lobby!,” he joked. “I mean, you walk in the revolving doors and she’s gonna be right there singing with a tambourine and two or three musicians. I was as surprised as you!” he told the room of reporters.