Randy Jackson Exits Fox’s ‘American Idol’

Randy Jackson Off American Idol
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jackson was the last judge remaining from the original Jackson, Abdul, Cowell 'Idol' lineup

American Idol” has lost its final original judge.

Randy Jackson announced today that he is leaving the Fox singing competish show after being firmly seated at the judges’ table for 12 years.

Jackson confirmed to E! News: “After 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol’ I have decided it is time 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.”

When contacted by Variety, Fox did not have comment.

Until now, Jackson was the last remaining judge on “Idol” since its inception in 2002. Fellow judge alums Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell ankled the skein in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Since then, “Idol” has seen a revolving door of judges, including the entrance and departure of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

In its current 12th run on Fox, “Idol” has seen record-low ratings paired with escalating drama between judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Rumors have swirled that the “Idol” producers hatched a plan to uproot Carey from her judging post and replace her with more popular judge Jennifer Lopez, after Carey’s time on the program did not produce buzzy enough results. Minaj and Carey have also butted heads on numerous occasions, both on air and off.

Fellow judge Keith Urban has not made moves towards the exit yet, but the fate of all current judges on the show remains unclear as “Idol” producers will most likely retool the show again for its thirteenth run.

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  1. Cats Pajamas says:

    Why no talk of Nicky M. going away? Keith and Mariah at least give advice and judgements that speak to musical elements, while “honey chile” (as Nicky so often says) rambles on and on… and on! If only Nicky could not monopolize the judges table, she’d be fine.

    But losing Randy??? That’s going to be the end of Idol. Randy is the music and music business authority on the show. He’s the stabilizer. I really hate to see him go, and I probably won’t be watching if he leaves. Did anyone mention “The Voice” and “X Factor”? Entertaining on all fronts. I think Randy has chosen the right time to go, though. Idol is doomed, I’m afraid, and I’ve been watching all these years. RIP.

  2. Tim Nasson says:

    They are ALL leaving, according to my well placed sources.

  3. ValleyGirl says:

    I wish him the best. I learned so much from his feedback to singers and his book.

  4. Gerard says:

    That annoying East coast coach has to go. I can’t stand his input.
    When my favorite singer leaves the show I’m over it. They should let the 12 stay on to the end and rack up points just to keep interest. It’s too slow with just a few singers and a bunch of fill.

  5. Dick Delson says:

    Do we care?

  6. Randy is great, he needs to hook back up with Simon on the X Factor

  7. George Matusek says:

    I join Broadway diva Barbara Cook in saying “Good Riddance!”

  8. David M Lowe says:

    Randy’s departure confirms American Idol has run its course!

  9. The show’s over, dog…

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