Veteran judge Randy Jackson might return as a mentor next season

By James Hibberd
September 07, 2012 at 12:00 PM EDT
  • TV Show

All American Idol judges, please step forward — not so fast, Randy Jackson! The veteran judge on TV’s top-rated reality series will most likely slide into a mentor-ish role for season 12, sources say. The 56-year-old music producer has been a well-liked member of the Idol team since the program’s debut a decade ago, but the show endured a significant ratings decline this year. Fox and Idol producers hope to start 2013 with a clean slate of celebrity talent sipping from Coke cups, and that means Jackson’s in the dawg house. So who will join the show’s $17 million-per-year new hire, Mariah Carey? As of press time, the other chairs were unfilled, but sources say there are plenty of negotiations occurring with big names behind the scenes. With Fox having announced the departures of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, the Idol team is now deep in talks with rapper Nicki Minaj, who is close to a deal. Sources say the third spot will likely go to Aussie country star Keith Urban, or perhaps to Spanish singer-songwriter Enrique Iglesias. (AI homebody Adam Lambert is still hanging around with an outside chance.) The only thing that’s certain: If all goes according to plan, Idol will have its most dramatic overhaul ever. ”There will be several positive announcements to follow shortly,” assures creator Simon Fuller. ”American Idol is moving up a gear. We are looking forward to a dynamic new season ahead.”

Episode Recaps

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.
  • TV Show
  • 16
  • 574
  • 06/11/02
  • Simon Fuller
Complete Coverage