Randy Jackson Out as 'American Idol' Judge, Becomes Mentor
Randy Jackson Out as 'American Idol' Judge, Becomes Mentor
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
In all the excitement and buzz over Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj (and all the other names floating around) becoming new judges on American Idol, the question still remained on if the sole original judge, Randy Jackson, would stick around or if the producers would end up deciding to go in a completely new direction. We now have an answer.

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TMZ is reporting that Jackson will no longer be a judge, but instead is becoming a mentor (most likely taking over Jimmy Iovine's role, unless the two end up sharing duties). Sources tell them, though, that "there's some concern among the brass that Jackson is not well-suited for the mentor role ... but they feel they need him because he's the glue that helps keep the show together." That's debatable on if he's the glue that keeps everything together, but it's understandable to keep him around for familiarity since there will be an all-new judges panel.

Speaking of the judges, it's been just under two weeks since word broke that Nicki Minaj is set to join the show, once certain issues got worked out, which they reportedly have (such as Minaj's deal with Pepsi -- Idol's sponsor is Coca-Cola). Along this issue, TMZ also mentions that her deal is "99% done ... but still not a sure thing just yet."

And the rumor has been going around for a while now that the show is reverting back to its short-lived four judge setup, a rumor confirmed in the above report. "We're told producers are gunning for someone from the country music world for the third seat. Seat number 4 is up in the air." The spot reserved for a country singer will likely go to Keith Urban, unless negotiations fall apart.

What do you think? Did Idol do the right thing by moving Randy Jackson into a mentoring role instead of being a judge, or should he be off the show entirely?

(Image courtesy of FOX)

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