Pasadena, Calif. — Even though Fox is billing season 15 of American Idol as the farewell season, talent and producers hint that it might not be the last.
“Is this the end? I’m not so sure,” said host and executive producer Ryan Seacrest, Friday during a Fox TCA Winter Press Tour panel for the show.
Judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban also hinted at their skepticism with Urban quipping that the Eagles had three farewell tours.
“At the end of the day, you never know,” said Lopez, adding that the show could come back in a different format.
The panelists were also pressed as to why they thought the singing competition was coming to an end in the face of still decent ratings.
“It’s been an amazing run…It wasn’t entirely a shock,” said executive producer Trish Kinane, deflecting to the network for the ultimate answer as to why this is the farewell season.
Mentor Scott Borchetta added later in the panel: “Why not go out on top?”
But if the franchise is ever rebooted, Seacrest is open to returning.
“I’m obsessed about it," said Seacrest. "This show is like a family member to me."
Panelists also revealed some of what viewers can expect from the final season.
Both longtime judge Simon Cowell and season one cohost Brian Dunkleman will likely return for the finale.
Season one winner Kelly Clarkson will also be involved, appearing as a judge.
“We’re really happy that she wants to be a part of this,” said Kinane, explaining that Clarkson is pregnant so her role in the finale is up in the air.
In addition to Clarkson, alums will head back to the Idol stage midseason to perform duets with season 15 contestants.
“This season’s going to be amazing,” said Kinane.