Everything old is new again on “American Idol.” Following weeks of reports that sole remaining original judge Randy Jackson would be sliding from the panel to a mentoring role , it appears that the big dawg might be back in the game.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote on Monday that after eyeing Enrique Iglesias as a possible fourth judge, talks have broken down and Jackson, who has been a judge since the show’s 2002 debut, is back in the mix.
Though Mariah Carey has been confirmed as the new face of the show, the other two spots on the panel remain in flux, with reports that Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban are still hammering out details of their deals to join the #1 reality show in prime time for the upcoming 12th season.
While a spokesperson for Fox did not return requests for comment at press time, former “Idol” lead judge Simon Cowell appears to have spilled the beans. The “X Factor” boss tweeted on Monday, “Just heard Randy is back on ’Idol.’ Right decision.” Jackson, who co-manages Carey, made a number of appearances on Monday to discuss his campaign to spread the word about diabetes on CNN and “The Today Show,” but when talk turned to his gig on “Idol,” he was mum.
“Listen, it’s an amazing show,” he told Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on “Today.” He praised his pal Carey and said she would bring “a lot of excitement … let’s see what happens.” He also deflected talk of who else would be on the panel when asked to confirm Minaj and Urban’s signings.