Randy Jackson Returning as American Idol Judge for Season 12: It's Confirmed

Randy Jackson American IdolIn much the same way he begins most of his performance critiques, Randy Jackson’s journey back to the American Idol judges’ table for Season 12 has been a long, strange, and circuitous one. Now, TVLine has confirmed that the show’s sole original panelist will indeed return alongside newcomer Mariah Carey, as well as one or two other musicians, when the reality juggernaut returns to the airwaves in January.

“The rumors are true,” a source close to the show confirmed to TVLine.

Jackson had been widely expected to be stepping away from his position as a judge and into some sort of “mentor” role as Idol underwent another off-season facelift — with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler both exiting after two-year stints, and Carey officially climbing aboard. But yesterday, former Idol judge and current X Factor honcho Simon Cowell sparked internet buzz by Tweeting “Just heard Randy is back on Idol. Right decision.”

A Fox spokesperson declined to comment on news of Jackson’s return.

Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban, Enrique Iglesias, and Adam Lambert have all been discussed as potential players on a three- or four-person Idol panel, although several media outlets have reported Minaj and Urban are the most likely to ink their deals.

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