Harry Connick, Jr. returning to American Idol for faith-based show

Former American Idol judge Harry Connick, Jr. will be returning to the show next week for a faith-based episode with ex-contestant Lauren Daigle.

He will perform two songs from his new Christian album, Alone with My Faith, which he recorded during lockdown, while Daigle will sing her 2019 hit Look Up Child.

Connick, Jr., who was a judge on Idol alongside Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban from 2013 to 2016, told editors at Billboard he cannot wait to get back to the TV talent contest.

"It's really nice to be back," he said. "I had such a good time when I was a judge, and before that, a mentor. So, any chance I get to see those folks again, I welcome. I have a lot of friends there."

Daigle added, "I'm excited to be back with people that I so enjoy. We did rehearsals and the Idol team, like the band, is insane. We had a ball. The band nailed it... It's also really refreshing how kind they are."

The 29-year-old auditioned for the show in 2010 and 2012, when she just missed out on making it to the top 10.

"I don't have any disdain or any negativity toward the show," she insisted. "At the time I was so young and naive and I don't think I knew who I was yet. So, I could have been pulled in so many different directions artistically. I feel like it gave me an opportunity to step back... I'm actually really excited that it worked out this way."

They aren't the only former Idol favourites returning to the show - original judge Paula Abdul is currently sitting in for Luke Bryan after he tested positive for Covid-19.