Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. React to 'Bittersweet' End of 'American Idol'

"I felt like I was a part of something truly phenomenal and historic," Connick told PEOPLE

Photo: Michael Becker/FOX

It won’t be an easy goodbye for American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.

The judges of the singing reality competition series opened up about digesting the news of the show’s cancellation, which Fox announced Monday.

“Do I believe that it’s really ending? I have not come to terms with that yet,” Lopez, 45, told reporters backstage after Tuesday night’s show. “I might not.”

The singer-actress also noted that the fun isn’t over just yet.

“I’m glad that we get to have a farewell season – if that is the case and it will be over next year.”

Fellow panel member Connick, 47, had a similar sentiment about hearing that more than a decade of TV history is coming to a close. But, he was grateful to be a part of it.

“I’ve been a fan of this show for a long time and when they asked me to be a mentor a few years back, I was thrilled,” Connick told PEOPLE backstage. “And when they asked me to be a judge I was even more excited because I felt like I was a part of something truly phenomenal and historic.”

He added, “As bittersweet as it is, I really feel that I’m a part of something on a smaller level for me that is unforgettable.”

RELATED VIDEO: Why You Shouldn’t Be Surprised ‘American Idol’ Is Ending

Filling the shoes of Idol veterans Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, Lopez joined the judging panel in season 10, but took a short break and returned in season 13, alongside former mentor Connick. The pair both returned as judges, with country star Keith Urban, for Idol’s current season.

As season 12 was coming to an end, Lopez told host Ryan Seacrest, “I’ve never felt so much a part of a family of something I’ve been working on as I did with Idol. I didn’t know I’d be moved so emotionally by working on the show and working with the contestants.”

Reporting by PATRICK GOMEZ

RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Lopez Sounds off on the End of American Idol

American Idol

wraps its 14th season Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

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