Randy Jackson Leaving American Idol

randy jackson idolFile under #NoLongerInItToWinIt: Randy Jackson, once referred to by producers as the “barnacle” of the American Idol judging panel, is stepping down from his role at the end of this season.

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“Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season,” Jackson told E! News. “I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry.” Jackson added he plans to focus on his company, Dream Merchant 21, as well as “other business ventures.” (Jackson produced the MTV competition series America’s Best Dance Crew for 7 seasons.)

RELATED | American Idol: 11 Terrible Ideas to Avoid in a Potential Season 13 Reboot

Jackson was Idol‘s sole remaining original judge, having first grabbed a chair on the panel alongside a then unknown Simon Cowell and “Straight Up” singer Paula Abdul when the offshoot of British hit Pop Idol launched stateside in the summer of 2002.

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Jackson’s announcement comes on the heels of multiple reports that Fox brass are looking to reboot the entire Idol panel — and perhaps even its producing staff — in the face of sharp ratings declines for the reality singing juggernaut over the past several months.

A bass player best known for playing with Journey and Tracy Chapman, as well as producing records for Mariah Carey and a number of other artists whom he liked to name-drop during live telecasts, Jackson’s main claim to fame on Idol was his unflinching committment to catchphrases such as “Yo, dawg,” “molten hot lava bomb,” “in it to win it,” and “if you can sing, you can sing anything.”


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  1. Mamamitzvah says:

    NO WAY!!! He is in it to~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ :) Bye Bye Bye!

    • elr says:

      Let’s hope this sticks. I was already to watch Idol this year but, then they said Randy would be judging too after saying that he wouldn’t be on the panel. Getting rid of the producers sounds like a good thing too. Nigel is much better suited to So You Think You Can Dance.

  2. Zorkel567 says:

    So, is he the last of the original judges to leave?

    And It seems as if everytime I go back to the main page, there is a new story.

  3. George says:

    He actually said “Yo Yo Yo” in his statement? *groans*

  4. Bobbi says:

    Gettin’ out while the gettin’ is good! LOL!

  5. Robert Taylor says:

    And somewhere in the country Michael Slezak just let us a scream of joy so loud the police were called.

  6. Mike says:

    It is time for him to leave, frankly it’s time for the show to end as well.

  7. Mamamitzvah says:

    Hey, where is everyone? I was about to pop the bubbly. Alone? Dude, where will the Dawg go now? No more props to the judges. WAIT!!!! Who is going to replace him? OM Goodness. Is this a devil we don’t know situation? ARRRGGGHH..Be scared. :) be vewwwwwy scared.

  8. Gailer says:

    Unfortunately, he isn’t the problem

    • bingham says:

      Oh, I’d say he’s a problem, but he isn’t the ONLY problem. They still have A LOT of work to do to right the Idol ship.

      • Danny says:

        @Bingham- exactly. Now if 2 more could follow him out the door, that would be a good start. Then they need to change the voting. Then they need to change the production angles (who to throw under the bus each week, etc). Then…….. well, the list goes on.

  9. bamabunny says:

    I kind of hope this is the beginning of the end. Bring on “Voiceology” with Slezak and Mindy Doo!

  10. jessiesk says:

    thank god, he exhausts me and it scares me when I actually agree with him. So he must go

  11. wrstlgirl says:

    About time.

  12. BYE! You will not be missed. At all.

  13. Tahoe Mike says:

    Promises Promises, I was so glad when he was going to be gone this year and then he came back. Barnacle is a good word for the big bump on the log. Good flippin’ riddance! AMF.

    • TV Fan says:

      Randy only came back after producers failed to get Enrique Iglesias to join as a judge. I don’t think he would’ve added anything to the panel, and would’ve been overshadowed by the Nicki-Mariah feud. That’s why I’m not watching AI this year.

      • Tahoe Mike says:

        Three is the magic number. Having four judges just doesn’t work, but they keep trying it for some reason. Now if the Real powers that be will please can Nigel too, there will be real rejoicing throughout the land.

        • MB says:

          I read somewhere that they are cleaning house and all four judges are gong as well as Nigel. It may actually be too late to save Idol but honestly though I am entertained at times by The Voice it just does not do for me what Idol has done all these years. The Voice is about the judges but with Idol you fall in love with he contestants.

          • dbs says:

            I actually prefer the American Idol format over The Voice format. I agree with MB, we fall in love with the contestants…The tempo of The Voice is too fast and we aren’t able to connect to the contestants. The judges should be articulate,have a musical background and knowledge of music,style, some sense of humor. The AI format is a good one, and I don’t think it needs too much changing.other than some more personable judges.

  14. noa says:

    i’m going to express my views on this using Randy’s words:

    1. you were boxing with that announcement.
    2. my opinion is i didn’t like you, i thought you were and idiot, i thought you were a bad judge choice.
    3. the “great” Randy Jackson is leaving. woot!
    4. yo dawg. for me, for you- we know that they were going to fire you anyway. so KUDOS to you for quitting.

  15. Derek says:

    Gettin’ off that sinking ship I see…

  16. tstone says:

    You know that guy that you meet at a bar, you have a few drinks, decide to go home together. You wake up the next morning with a massive hangover and tons of regret when you remember he was yelling “IN IT TO WIN IT” the whole time. Then he proceeds to sleep in the middle of your bed all day when all you want to do is watch TV, drink lots of water and pig out on greasy food. Your dog looks up at you like “why is this guy still here?” Then as the sun begins to set again you look over and say “I mean, it’s really time for you to go. I have been pretty nice for way too long.” But then he tries to convince you that you should order food and hang out. So then he ends up staying another night. Monday morning finally rolls around and you finally get to use work as an excuse. He attempts to get in the shower with you and you scream for him to get out. Finally he walks out to the front door with you (slowly) and you push him out.

    That’s Randy.

    • Natou says:

      My eyes is watering on that one….ROFL. I don’t think that’s a good news at all. Who Michael going to make fun of now? Nigel is still around and I don’t think he will stop the manipulation now.

    • Danny says:

      Dang ts, and here I thought all this time you were happy to have me over.

    • lyn says:

      What a riveting life you lead. At least Randy’s been getting paid for hanging around for the last 12 years.

  17. Nabil says:

    The day Simon Cowell left, American Idol was 95 % dead
    With Randy Jackson leaving, It is 100 PERCENT DEAD!
    It’s ratings will just continue to drop and drop!
    Fox needs to CANCEL it already!

    • Esaul says:

      Agreed. Show hasn’t been the same without Simon. And really, who’s sad to see Randy go? He’s nice and all,but he got annoying.

  18. april-ann says:

    Well Dawg…you did your thang…

  19. Kat says:

    Can he please take Nicki with him? She’s awful… The only judge I really like this year is actually Keith!

    • Jason says:

      No Nicki is the new Simon it’s just America is afraid of a strong woman so they are rejecting her. Just think about how hard it was to find someone who speaks the truth even if it hurts. Plus she’s kooky like PAula If they fire her then it really will be the end when they bring in three more cheerleaders!!

  20. bingham says:


  21. Someone hand me a glass of that bubbly says:

    They really should keep two of the judges (Nicki and Keith I like). I’ve been waiting for Randy to leave for at least 3 seasons now. This is the best Idol news I’ve heard since Simon left.

  22. Joseph says:

    With FOX losing the demo in 2013, they need to do a great many things ONE THING ,,
    make American Idol again a show about taking talented artists and less about forcing a winner on their audience, and wasting time on individuals with highly questionable singing skills.

  23. PFitzDC says:


  24. Totowolf says:

    I’m not surprised, but glad. Get out while you can, I’d say! I’m really not sure why the departure of Randy and possible elimination of the entire judge panel will help. Too bad the entire show isn’t going away. I haven’t watched at all this season.

  25. noa says:

    i bet they told him “quit now and we’ll give you a proper send off at the finale”

    • derik says:

      This was the post I was scrolling to find. My thoughts exactly. Now they get to bring Simon and Pauler back for a final huzzah and pretend like they didn’t pull out a jack hammer to get rid of this barnacle.

  26. lisaK says:

    the problems with the show are not Randy’s fault … It is the STUPID song choices, dippy themes, old old old vibe …

  27. Steve F. says:

    It’s about time, dawg. Randy’s schtick got very tired.

  28. ThatBob says:

    Yo, Daaaaaawgggg. I dunno, I dunno. For me, for you, for me, I just wasn’t feelin’ it, you know? Hey, just keepin it real. I’m just… yo, I think you’re going home, dawg. Just sayin. I dunno.

  29. Midori says:

    The next season will probably be the last. The ratings have fallen faster than a fat woman singing while being pushed off a cliff into the shark jumping ocean below. Not sure how much longer it can go, maybe that’s why Fox ordered so many more shows.

  30. Jared says:

    American Idol is 12 years old! It has simply just run it’s course and is no longer “fresh”.

    12 years ago, there was no The Voice and X Factor, it was the ONLY show of its kind.

    And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just time to put it to rest.

    • Mamamitzvah says:

      In all fairness. I can name most AI winners & many runners up. Other than Tate Stevens & Carly Rose I cannot remember too many Voice or X-Factor people. Maybe because I am getting old, but AI is hands down the better “talent contest”. The Voice wins for the best “judges”. I just don’t know what to say about the X Factor. :)

      • My Alter Ego says:

        “I just don’t know what to say about the X Factor.”

        Oh my, Mamamitzvah, I think you’ve just shown extraordinary restraint! That “bs’d” habit must be working!

    • Tom22 says:

      I’ll bet you 5 to 1 odds that Ryan Seacrest leaves the show …. he’s mega rich and has a brand of his own that he’s going to tarnish sticking around what is becoming perscieved as a has-been show.

      Yeah, its still a successful show milions of viewers.. but it is damaged now and probably not good enough for him. He’ll get an “american bandstand” going – his own variety show of some sort other than an elimination singing competition. (it could have some sort of voting twist to it.. maybe seperate dance and singing amateur guests that have a shot one at a time over the weeks to be introduced then release things on the interenet once everytwo weeks and have kids watch the shows on the internet then have the results shown on the show.

      Again.. not a competiion too much.. more like America’s bloopers with not everything on the show and with Star appearances. Sort of a stable of his “viral” artists. Maybe even elements of top chef in some odd way ? (earn a spot as a regular singer that are relpaced on a rolling basis?

      Just brainstorming.. but he’ll want to be associated with something new that he owns himself.

      It is his time to take what he already owns outside of idol up an even bigger step.

      • ThatBob says:

        Alternate possibility: in order to get Ryan to stay they give him the show (since Nigel’s on the way out) as producer. With his ego he probably thinks he can save it.

        • chistosa says:

          Who is to say that he can’t “fix” it? He has incredible experience, contacts and a good handle on what sells. He knows the music buying public and he knows what is fresh. Ego or not he has the goods.

          • karenb says:

            If Ryan leaves, I leave! He’s by far the best part of the show. Although I really liked when he and Simon made fun of each other. Now he’s all serious.

        • Tom22 says:

          Giving Ryan the show would make a lot of sense.. or perhaps Selling him the show, top to bottom all rights etc. He’s known as the hardest working man in hollywood respected within the industry that Dick Clark was (which if you know, was far beyond his hosting role). Also, a bit unrelated, but Merv Griffin was another who cared just as much about his investing as he put into his talk show roles. He ended up worth close to a billion dollars I believe , and not by just pure luck but active running of operating companies including his hotel management company etc.

  31. Scott says:

    So your “quitting”…try fired Randy

  32. Cairi says:

    No surprise there… seems like an “I’ll make the announcement that I’m quitting before they announce that I’m fired” kind of thing. I do hope that in the massive housecleaning they keep Keith Urban. He’s been, for the most part, very astute with his feedback, and he has always been kind to the contestants even while offering pointed criticisms. Build a panel around him, with likeminded, intelligent judges and the show might be salvaged.

    • lyn says:

      The only way to get back the viewers is to limit the voting. Why bother to get invested if your votes don’t mean anything?

  33. Mafs95 says:

    FINALLY!!! I’ll miss some of his stupidity… hummm… no, I actually won’t. LOOOL

  34. Ken says:

    If american idol was on for 12 seasons then it was 11 seasons and 1 hour too long.

  35. Chablis says:

    All those who “love” The Voice are the same people who say only three judges yet Voice has four?

  36. Princess Adora says:

    I don’t even know what to say I’m so happy!! *tears of joy*
    Let’s just stick with 3 judges next year please. These guys talk SOOO fricken much!!

  37. BigChad says:

    Who cares? Idol wont be worth watching until we also have the scalps of:

    That weather beaten 13 year old kid that dresses in leather jackets and baseball caps spouting jibberish in a bronx accent.
    Ken Warwick
    The Mariah/Minage/Urban Chemistry Void and the chairs they sat on.
    The golden/Silver stools as well.
    Master of the Swaybots
    Any things or residues left behind by Orianthi or wil.ll.ai.mm
    The moron that thought a 4 judge panel made for good tv
    Ray Chew
    The audio department that set the awful levels on Ray Chew’s arrangements
    The person in wardrobe that put/let Kree into high heels each week
    The person dressing Candice in Peg Bundy prints each week
    The entire musical rights non-clearance dept that sat on their hands for 11 seasons
    and most of all,
    FOX’s Goblin-Faced spawn of the debil Mike “I’m repellant!” Darnell
    Better be safe than sorry, just get rid of every at Fox, 19 and Freemantle that you cannot legally sack. Then give Simon Fuller a full nelson with noogies until he hands Season 13 over to an adult capable of critical thinking.
    Oh, ok, Seacrest can come back too.

  38. Natalie says:

    Am I the only one who will genuinely miss him? I could get angry at times when he was being randy, but I am very upset to see him go. I don’t see the same awfulness everyone else does.

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      Yep, there is one in every crowd. Tag; you’re it.

      • Natalie says:

        That makes me feel sorta like the only person with blond hair in a crowd of all brunettes. Outta place.

    • deedee says:

      I’m not happy to see him go either. Randy is not the problem. He’s not even *a* problem. He gets along with whoever sits on the panel with him and never causes any real trouble. His catchphrases are an Idol staple as is the mocking they inspire. He’s not a great judge; he’s the producers’ mouthpiece; and he’s totally not invested in the show anymore. But he’s the devil we know and an old familiar presence, and I think there’s a bit of value in that. I seriously don’t believe that letting him go is going to even make a dent in Idol’s problems. I won’t be losing sleep over this (the way I would over Ryan leaving [gah!!!]), but it’s not the answer.

      • karenb says:

        I was thinking the same thing about Randy being a producers mouthpiece. It actually crossed my mind that maybe all that god-awful in it to win it was something that the producers kept making him do. What if he was manipulated too like us. But only with a bigger paycheck lol

    • 5talentgirl says:

      You’re not the only one who will miss him. He was never as awful as people make him out to be. Repetitive, yes, but wasn’t he also sometimes the only judge who had the guts to say he didn’t like a song when it WAS bad but other judges had still praised it? On TVLine Randy was a pet hate that cyberspace allowed people to be mean to.
      Yo, yo, you go, dawg! In a good way.

  39. cjinsd says:

    About damn time.

  40. ohreli says:


  41. The Beach says:

    Hey Michael, no mention of the other big Randy story circulating that Mariah has fired him as her manager?

  42. karenb says:

    You must be flabbergasted Slezak. I know I am! I’m kinda sad I won’t be able to rant about him and his “judging” next season. I bet you are too!

    I hope Idol will return to only having three judges. I think that dynamic worked way better than the foursome. By the time we get to the 4th judge I’m snoozing.

  43. Sara says:

    This is the best news I’ve heard all day (even better than Criminal Minds being renewed). Randy has been useless for the last like 5 seasons – at least. Ditch Mariah, keep Nicki and Keith, reduce how much we see Ryan Seacrest, and we’re good to go. Or at least, it’s a step in the right direction.

    • Carmen says:

      Here Here, your post is a step in the right direction for sure. Keith and Nicki I could watch again but NOT RANDY (or ramble-on Mariah).

  44. Kim R says:

    Insert dance of joy here. :)

  45. Edward says:

    Good riddance!…our family plays a game..once he says “you’re in it to win it” we shut the tv off..that’s how sick of him we got…true story!

  46. Chris says:

    Thank goodness. I’ve been voting him off the show for years and it’s about time they tallied up the votes!

  47. Jason says:

    Just got tickets to the finale!!! Check your emails if you’re on the waitlist.