It’s the end of an era, dawg.
Deadline Hollywood reports that famed music producer Randy Jackson, the only remaining original judge from FOX’s long running singing competition, American Idol, will not be returning for season 14 come January.
Back in 2002 when the reality show began, Jackson, along with fellow judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul helped shape the identity of the competition series with friendly jeers and constructive criticism of young hopefuls.
The show enjoyed early meteoric success, discovering fresh talents such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry, but fell off the top of the ratings ladder in recent years when similar competitions shows such as NBC’s The Voice and FOX’s The X Factor populated the American market.
To combat their declining viewership, show execs switched up the judges, trying out current stars like Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez in the role alongside Randy.
Last year, Jackson had stepped down as a full-time judge and instead worked as the contestants’ mentor. But come 2015, the big dawg will be totally absent from the production.
Jackson released a statement on the decision Tuesday through his publicist, reading, “After 13 seasons I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol. I’m proud to have been a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful televisions shows ever. A true original, Idol started it all. Onto what’s next.”
In response to the news, FOX producers called the musician an “integral part” of Idol’s early success.
“We wish him all the best in his next chapter. Randy will always be part of our Idol family and we hope he’ll visit from time to time.”
American Idol season 14 debuts January 14.
Will you be tuning into Idol this season?
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