Jennifer Lopez is officially returning to judging duties on American Idol alongside Randy Jackson, Keith Urban and newly named judge Harry Connick Jr., and J.Lo explained to Idol host Ryan Seacrest just what lured her back to the FOX singing competition juggernaut, saying, "When things are meant to be, they kind of just find a way back into your life."
"It was so hard for me to leave the first time; I went off and I did my tour and everything," she said Tuesday morning on his On Air with Ryan Seacrest radio show on 102.7 KIIS FM. "To be honest, right now is the worst time for me to stop and do Idol. I'm doing two movies, my album's coming out, I have like so much stuff going on, but honestly, I'm doing it because I want to. I love it and I've had such a good time with it."
She elaborated, "I love working with everybody over there. I'm excited about the new guys – I met them, and we sat down and we had dinner and stuff. It's always this special kind of experience, special journey."
She added with a laugh, "I'm glad they wanted me back even though I said no last year."
As for speculation that she came back because the producers practically backed up a Brinks truck to her doorstep, Jennifer added that it's not about the money: "For me, it's not about that stuff. I don't have to do it for those reasons. I do it because I love it. It's in my heart and it's something that I enjoy doing. So I'm excited about this year. I'm really excited."
for the full interview, including her thoughts on Harry Connick Jr.
American Idol season 13 debuts on FOX in January 2014.