Report: Randy Jackson Not Leaving American Idol, In Talks to Replace Jimmy Iovine as Mentor

Randy Jackson blogYo, check it out: A familiar face may be returning to American Idol before he ever really left.

Departing judge Randy Jackson is in talks to stick with the long-running Fox competition series for its revamped Season 13 — but now as an in-house mentor, our sister site Deadline reports. Jackson would thus replace music producer Jimmy Iovine, who is reportedly leaving Idol after three seasons of advising contestants.

RELATED | American Idol: 10 Bold, Completely Original, Randy Jackson-Free Fixes to Revive Season 13

Jackson first announced his Idol departure in May. His new position is just one of several changes for the show’s upcoming run. Keith Urban will once again serve as a judge, but he will be joined by a new panel following Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj’s exits.

RELATED | American Idol Live! 2013 Concert Review: Highs, Lows and Headscratchers from Newark, N.J.!

At the Television Critics Assoc. press tour earlier this month, Fox president Kevin Reilly said “there have been discussions” with Season 10/11 judge Jennifer Lopez for a return engagement. Mega-music producer Dr. Luke is reportedly a contender to join the dais as well.

Behind the scenes, longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick were ousted in June, while News Corp. TV executive David Hill replaced Fox’s reality-TV vet Mike Darnell in the role of overseeing Idol, which returns midseason.

Would you like to see Randy stay on, as the “new” Jimmy Iovine?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. PepperJo says:

    For the love of God, you have GOT to be kidding. What will it take for this franchise to see that Randy Jackson is not longer a relevant entity here? And that most people have no desire to see or hear from him anymore on Idol. Although, if they’re looking for a way to continue to shut down the whole Idol enterprise, then by all means, carry on with plans like this. Carry on.

  2. FatherOctavian says:

    “My advice to you is: you really gotta step it up, dawg.”

  3. Chris says:

    Jimmy was the ONLY reason to watch Idol the last three years…terrible

  4. Luther says:

    Worst idea ever. Jimmy was the lone source for honest (and negative) feedback, how can they replace him with someone who’s feedback is one of 5 catchphrases.

    • Stacey says:

      The downside of Jimmy was his advice always came when watching the playback off the show and reporting it the next day. So obviously sometimes it was honest, but it was always after the show aired so it wasn’t in the moment and likely knowing the results of the vote. Maybe Randy will be more honest in this role… And more timely.

  5. JCK says:

    The Peter Principle on steroids. Brings to mind Jonathan Edwards’ lyric “He can’t even run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine”.

  6. Dakota says:

    I do not like Jimmy, too controlling, instead of mentoring he dictates, HOWEVER, I’d still rather have him than Randy. I don’t know why I care since with the old re-tread, JLo returning, I won’t watch. Suicide by stupidity is AI new motto.

  7. qj201 says:

    Hated Jimmy. It was like his opinion carried more weight than the judges. Awkward to have Jimmy trash a contestant JUST BEFORE they were about to perform. Randy is a good fit and will come off as less arrogant than Iovine.

  8. LOL! “The new, fresh and revamped Idol” (except remember the judge from 2 years ago, ya, she’s coming back and Gotcha! Randy didn’t really leave. Oh and Keith is coming back, so……)

  9. Scott says:

    I will hope for the best. Randy Jackson, for you, for me, does have a history in the music business, so he might offer insight as a mentor. Might. Ah, who am I kidding?

    What would be better would be both of them — Jimmy and Randy, a la Shana Alexander and James J Kilpatrick, picking apart performances. I mean, if they HAVE to have Randy there, they could dilute him with Jimmy :)

  10. Bobbi says:

    This upcoming season is sounding worse and worse the more I hear. I may just skip the whole thing.

  11. Kat says:

    Stop pushing who you want to win and let it really be about who America wants to win. Bring in Harry Connick Jr. and let him mentor. He gave about the best advice of any of the mentors. And PLEASE this year give them a choice of better songs. They were so boring last year for the most part that I had to struggle to continue watching. The only reason I did was because one of the contestants was someone I knew. It was so apparent what was going on with getting rid of all the guys one after another it was idiotic. Please let it play out. Glad Keith is returning. He was the only judge worth a hoot last year.

  12. Atlanta Girl says:

    I almost thought about returning to watch AI this year with new judges and hopefully a re-vamped show but it appears now that they are just moving re-treads around and will probably keep the same boring, out-of-touch theme nights so I am out.

  13. Bob says:

    Well, thank g-d I-o-vine is leaving. Unfortunately, they’re replacing him with someone worse. Cancel the show already.

  14. Volcfom says:

    I think Slezak didn’t report this story because he’s too busy crying in a corner somewhere… Or Hulk-smashing some office furniture. Honestly, isn’t that what we all want to do right about now?

  15. Baubles says:

    The absurdity that is American Idol. . just keeps piling up and this latest Randy news is at the top of the heap.

  16. MB says:

    Oh hum, Idol gets less and less appealing everyday. I can not believe they are bringing Randy in as mentor and Jimmy Lovine is leaving. He was the only true voice on idol. Also didn’t he have something to do with the recording contracts?
    I will watch Idol when it starts and if I see it go anywhere near what it did last season I am done with Idol for good. Last year was a total waste of time. I could care less about any of the contestants coming from that season and will not buy any of their music. Once the season was over they were forgotten to me. Not like the season before where I still play Philip’s music everyday. Idol is fast becoming a skeleton of the show it use to be. So sad.

  17. Yo says:

    Blech. I think I’m out for the season; it portends to be extraordinarily boring.

  18. says:

    NO! He just needs to swan off and be gone! Adam Lambert would be the best new judge/mentor. Someone who knows how to made a song his own. But enough of Yo Dog!

  19. rmd1064 says:

    Wow. Did not see this coming. I really think Idol needs a clean break from its past to give it a fresh start. Now they bring back Randy and JLo? I thought they were going to blow up this show and try some new things? Is Paula Abdul available???

  20. Chris says:

    So much for an all new idol…much of the same!

  21. PFitzDC says:

    No, no, no, no, NO!!!!
    Who is Randy Jackson sleeping with or have blackmail info on at Fox? There is simply no other reason for anyone to think that he continues to be an asset to this franchise at this critical juncture in its history.

  22. Alex says:

    Who even cares anymore? This show needs to be cancelled.

  23. Brandy says:

    I’m okay with this! Randy is good in small doses, and jimmy was just so fake. He seemed like he was reading his critiques off of a cue card.

  24. Mary says:

    I am in the minority but it doesn’t bother me that Randy is coming back. I am one of the few that did not like Jimmy. Since he came on the contestants seem to lack ingenuity and there was no Billy Jean or Heartless moments. I hope Randy is honest with the contestants and actually he does have some good insights, unfortunately as a judge he did not deliver them well. I do hope they have other mentors beside Randy maybe even bringing back some previous contestants to mentor and perform. I am glad Keith is back, not to thrill with Jlo but can live with it, but the third judge needs to be an music insider to give good constructive critiques. The secret to a successful year it to pick a good variety of contestants and let them be themselves. STOP manipulating and let the audience choose. NO PRODUCTION until further in the show, maybe top 5. Time will tell.

    • Nephtalia says:

      I am in the minority with you Mary. The thing is after firing everybody. Idol needs, at least even in small dose, someone that knows how the process works. Cause whether you like it or not it’s not easy to be successful at anything. So having someone that was there when people like Carrie, Kelly, Adam were picked can be very helpful. Idol went down but it still around the same number rating wise as The Voice. Randy can be grating sometimes but he is experienced. Idol still needs him

  25. RD says:

    Oh God no. Just when we thought we were safe…….

  26. allie says:

    Gee. Randy Jackson as “mentor”, Keith Urban and J-Lo returning as judges…. way NOT to change the show, AI! Yet another season I won’t be turning in for… kind of a bummer. I was hoping to see real change.

  27. Ig says:

    Worst idea ever Jimmy was great. Randy not so much

  28. BARF says:

    He really is IN IT TO WIN IT

  29. CAM says:

    So pathetic that they say they want to make big changes and then they talk of bringing back JLo who was about as worthless as they come and now they may keep Randy around? STUPID!

  30. Rebecca Parker says:

    If both Randy and Jennifer come back, I am not watching this season, end of story. Why do they not understand how much the audience does not like them? Take their salary and use it to buy more song rights instead. This show is never as exciting as when a contestant does something new and exciting. I have never looked forward to the judges. They are wasting their money and have been for years – when will they get it?

  31. Randi says:

    Am I the only one that misses Simon?

  32. Virginia B. says:

    The show’s been dead to me for years. I hate the way they treat some of their winners. Their shallow opinion of who they support is appalling to me. I hate that they don’t support contestants unless they either have made it big ala Jennifer Hudson or now Taylor Hicks who is a big Vegas star. Idol never supported them until they “deemed” both very talented people, support worthy. Or they support singers that they prefer and wanted to have won. So for them to get Randy back and JLo…is to me a big joke. I think Jimmy Iovine, although he may not have given advice that I agreed with (I’m not a professional, I just have opinions) I feel did extremely well promoting singers who might not ever make it in this world of music had he not.

    Maybe Iovine just got tired of supporting singers he didn’t like so he’s letting Randy take over.

  33. libby says:

    well heck now I know I won’t be watching between Randy’s return and JoLo’s pee hew!

  34. CAS says:

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. I didn’t like Jimmy, but I don’t think Randy would be any improvement. It seems to me that he quit Idol, found out that he’s no longer relevant in the music scene, and then came back to Idol, begging the new producers for some job….any job….just give me a paycheck! At least I’m not hearing any more about Will I Am as a judge. Pick from Adam Lambert, Neil Patrick Harris, Harry Connick, Jr., and/or Shania Twain. Keeping Keith is fine. Obviously, like Randy, J. Lo found out that nobody’s terribly interested in her anymore, either. Don’t keep this show as a home for irrelevant, unwanted musicians. Make it fresh and less predictable, like it used to be back in the days of Carrie Underwood, the two Davids, and Kradison. I still watch just because I LOVE music and singing. But I’ve been able to foretell the winners from week to week pretty accurately the last few seasons. Oh, yes…..LIMIT THE VOTE PER DEVICE TO 10X OR LESS!!!!! I’ve been screaming that from the rooftops for years.

  35. Joe says:

    They just pounded the final nail into the coffin with this announcement. This show is dead.

  36. Blazing says:

    Randy, Jennifer and no doubt the same tired songs and unlimited voting? They understand NOTHING. I’m finally done with American Idol.

  37. amadeline says:

    Noooooooo! How stupid are the producers? They must live on another planet, because they are so out of touch with reality. It took all these years to get rid of the ‘dawg’. Who in their right mind wants to ever see him again! Not me or my family.

  38. Princess Adora says:


  39. Michelle says:

    Can someone let them know that revamp and retread are not the same thing?

  40. Name That Tune says:

    IDK who is running things over at Idol, but they are clueless. Goodbye Idol!

  41. Bobby says:

    I’m glad I don’t watch that show anymore.

  42. mary kay farmer says:

    This show really is going to the “dogs”, First money money Jennifer, now Randy J who can’t string together an intelligent sentence, so very sad

  43. Sara says:

    Seriously? Please. Why can’t he just leave and stay gone already? I’m tired of being so stoked he’s finally leaving and then him turning around saying eh maybe I’m not entirely done with this show. Just the worst. He’s the Howie Mandel of American Idol – irrelevant.

  44. Juan says:


  45. everyone says:


  46. ejknight says:

    Why oh why is this show still on? If there is a God this would be the final season

  47. Tim Hintz says:

    I MY GOD. Randy Jackson as a mentor? How frickin annoying is it to NOW have Randy in the right hand side ( bottom corner ) of the TV screen before each contestant??? Its like he loved to just hear homself talk!! The other guy had great input! JUST LISTENING TO RANDY RAMBLE…RAMBLE…WITH NOTHING OF USE TO SAY !!