Randy Jackson Leaving American Idol After 12 Seasons

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Dawg, he’s no longer in it to win it.

Randy Jackson, the musician and producer who has been a judge on American Idol since Season 1, says he will not be coming back to the panel for Season 13 next year.

“Yo! Yo! Yo!” he said in a statement released by his publicist. “To put all of the speculation to rest, after twelve 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.”

The “speculation” he refers to is Idol’s drifting fortunes this season, with friction between panel-mates Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, and ratings down by more than 20% year over year. The situation has spurred conjecture and some unsourced reports that Fox is planning an overhaul for next spring’s cycle.

The Idol finale airs Thursday, May 16, 8 ET/PT on Fox.

Nicki Minaj Lashes Out At Mariah Carey On American Idol

Nicki Minaj derailed the “American Idol” auditions in Charlotte, North Carolina Tuesday, after swearing at Mariah Carey and threatening, “I’m gonna knock you out” … sources tell TMZ.

In the footage, obtained by TMZ, Nicki is clearly furious … shouting, “I told them I’m not f*ckin’ putting up with her f**kin’ highness over there.”

Sources say Nicki later threatened to “knock out” Mariah … but she said it before the video starts.

It all went down while the two were sitting at the judge’s table … with Keith Urban sitting in between them and Randy Jackson sitting on the far end, next to Mariah.

We’re told the whole thing exploded over a disagreement over a contestant’s performance.

Listen closely as you play the video … you’ll hear

Nicki Get this s**t in self control. Get in control. Get in control.
Randy Settle down, settle down.
Nicki Don’t lose your head. Don’t lose your head (inaudible). Don’t tell me I’m a gangster.
Nicki (inaudible) every 5 minutes. So every time you patronize me, I’m-ma take it back, and if you’ve got a f**king problem, handle it.
Nicki I told them I’m not f**kin’ putting up with her f**king highness over there. Figure it the f**k out. Figure it out.
Nicki I’m not gonna sit here every f**king minute to have you come down and harass me every minute everyday.

Mariah is talking back at Nicki but it’s hard to hear what she’s saying.

According to our friends at MouthToEars.com, producers ended the auditions for the day so the two judges could cool down. We’ve confirmed that happened.

Big wigs on the show seem uncharacteristically upset by the blow up. It seems producers are worried about Mariah and Nicki co-existing for the long haul. [TMZ]

First Look At New American Idol Judges

FOX announced Sunday that Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban were officially joining Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson as judges on American Idol. Shortly after that announcement, the show’s longtime host Ryan Seacrest shared the first shot of the brand-new foursome at the judges’ table via Facebook. “After some musical chairs, here’s how the new American Idol judges will be seated,” Seacrest, 37, wrote beneath a photo of Carey, 42, Urban, 44, Minaj, 29 and Jackson, 56, sitting down together (with Seacrest standing above) in midtown NYC.

“With the exciting addition of Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj, alongside Randy Jackson, American Idol’s star power has never been so great,” executive producer Simon Fuller said in a statement. With the addition of these new judges, this promises to be a very entertaining season!

Chris Stokes Blog