Belfast Telegraph

Randy Jackson to leave American Idol

Randy Jackson has revealed he will abandon his post at American Idol after 12 years on the judging panel.

The record producer-and-entrepreneur announced on Thursday that he would not be taking his seat at the judging panel next season.

Randy, 56, is the only original judge remaining after appearing on the very first season of the show alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul back in 2002.

"Yo! Yo! Yo!" he said in a statement released by his publicist. "To put all of the speculation to rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided to leave after this season. I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry.

“It's been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures."

Randy was referring to speculation surrounding the future of the current crop of judges who include Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban.

The TV talent show has suffered a dismal decline in ratings this season with figures down 20 per cent year on year, according to USA Today.

Radar recently reported that executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is planning a complete overhaul of the current judging panel. Apparently he is hoping to replace the existing judges with a “dream team” consisting of Justin Bieber, Pink, Selena Gomez and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.

“It’s been a lacklustre season for Idol and everyone involved with the show is well aware of it so that’s why producers are frantically working on lining up big name stars for season 14,” a source told the website.

“There’s more drama going on behind the scenes of the show than on the stage, and that’s why there’s a major overhaul in the works.”

Rumours have swirled that the Idol producers hatched a plan to uproot Carey from her judging post and replace her with more popular former judge Jennifer Lopez.

Minaj and Carey have also butted heads on numerous occasions, both on air and off.

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