The next season of American Idol will feature an entirely new judging panel.
All four judges are exiting the show next season, with sources close to the program confirming that Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson will not be coming back this fall. Fox is presenting its new fall lineup to advertisers today in NYC and is expected to officially announce the bold move then.
The ratings are down 22 percent compared to last year and Idol even suffered the humiliation of being beaten in the ratings by a rerun of CBS' The Big Bang Theory. Producers are now attempting drastic changes in a last-ditch effort to save the show. Jennifer Lopez was reportedly approached to replace Mariah in the middle of this season until she threatened legal action due to breach of contract.
Sources reported last week week that Mariah will not be returning to the show, but Randy was the first to officially confirm that he will not be coming back as a judge next season. Randy quit the show last August and then came back just days later, but he said that it truly is a done deal this time around.
"Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol, I have decided to leave after this season," said Randy in a statement. "I'm 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 has been at the judging table for the show since 2002 and remains the only one of the "original three" to still be an active part of the show. Along with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, he helped the show become the nation's most watched program for eight years running.
No potential replacements have been reported yet, but sources claim that the mega-salaries that were thrown around will not be happening again. Mariah was paid a reported $18 million to judge this season, while Nicki was paid $8 million.
What do you think of all four judges not coming back?
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