‘American Idol’ Judge Shakeup: Enrique Iglesias Out, Randy Jackson Back In (REPORT)
And with those negotiations breaking down, veteran judge Randy Jackson, who was previously reported to be taking on a smaller mentor role on the upcoming 12th season, will be back on the judge’s panel.
According to Deadline, talks with Iglesias broke down for more than financial reasons but the site didn’t specify what those reasons were. And since FOX still has an option on Jackson, the last-minute negotiations were pretty straightforward.
Simon Cowell, who announced his departure from Idol in 2010 to develop The X Factor, tweeted his approval after hearing the news on Monday, “Just heard randy is back on idol. Right decision.”
A FOX spokesperson tells Celebuzz the network has no comment on the report.
On Monday’s Today show, Jackson avoided answering questions about whether he would be returning as a judge.
“Listen, it’s an amazing show,” he said. “My friend Mariah Carey is there. I think she’s going to bring a lot of excitement to it. Let’s see what happens.”
So far, only Grammy-winning Carey has been officially confirmed for Season 12. She inked her deal shortly after the departures from Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez in July. Rapper Nicki Minaj and country crooner Keith Urban would round out the four-person judges panel with Jackson and Carey.
This would be its first four-person judging panel since Ellen DeGeneres’ one-season stint in 2010. And although that didn’t work for the show before, both The X Factor and The Voice currently have four judges each.
Host Ryan Seacrest will also return for another round of drama and commercial breaks this January.
Jackson, who has worked with some of music’s biggest artists in his decades-plus career, joined the show in its inaugural season in 2002, alongside Cowell and Paula Abdul.
In addition to coining several catchphrases, Jackson famously chose future Oscar-winning star Jennifer Hudson as his wildcard pick, on Season 3.