Rumours of Himesh Reshammiya being a part of ‘Indian Idol 3’ can now finally be put to rest.

Sony Entertainment Television Asia has officially announced the judging panel for its new series, starting in April.

Out are Sonu Nigam and Farah Khan and in are the versatile singers Udit Narayan and “Kajra Re” singer Alisha Chinai.

The tagline of the third Indian Idol is Ek Awaaz Jispar Ho Desh Ko Naaz.۪

In addition to a recording contract with Sony BMG, the ‘Indian Idol’ will be awarded a contract with Sony Entertainment Television Asia worth Rs 10 million (Rs 1 crore).

Sony Entertainment Television executive vice president and business head Albert Almeida said, “As witnessed in the last two seasons of Indian Idol the third season too promises to take viewer engagement and interactivity to even greater heights while catapulting the Indian Idol into ultimate stardom. This year too, the channel will give talented singers from across the nation the platform to realize their dreams and put fame and fortune within their reach while offering distinctive and breakthrough entertainment.”

Sony Entertainment Television chief creative director Sandiip Sikcand added, “Indian Idol aims to showcase the biggest singing talent from across the nation in the most entertaining and involving manner. This season, the focus of the judges would be to help us find that ‘One Voice’ that will be the pride of the nation. Indian Idol third season will offer a combination of great singing talent and entertainment for our viewers.”

This time round, the channel has roped in actor Hussain Khuwajirwala to host the show, who replaces Aman Verma (currently presenting ‘Cinestars’ on rival ZEE TV). On the other hand, Mini Mathur will continue as the other host of the show.

UK auditions for the new series will be taking place at the Asian Lifestyle Show in Birmingham on 30th, 31st March and 1st April.