‘IDOL’ JUDGING PANEL NOW DOESN’T INCLUDE ANY OF ITS ORIGINAL JUDGES
Randy Jackson, the last original judge on “American Idol,” will be leaving his judging position as the veteran Fox singing competition enters season 12. Jackson will not be departing the show, however. Instead, he will play the role as mentor to the contestants. It is unclear, at this time, how this would affect the role of Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records chairman Jimmy Iovine on “American Idol,” who has been the show’s mentor for the past two seasons.
Earlier this summer, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez each ended their two-year stints as “Idol” judges. Then, it was confirmed pop superstar Mariah Carey – who’s managed by Randy Jackson – would join the show as a judge beginning next season at a reported salary of $18 million – currently, the largest amount paid to a judge on reality television.
Singer Nicki Minaj is rumored to be close to also becoming an “Idol” judge but details of her deal still need to be worked out since Minaj is currently a spokeswoman for Pepsi and the official soda drink sponsor for “American Idol” is Pepsi’s competitor, Coca-Cola.
Other names that have been speculated about for “Idol” judging spots are Keith Urban, Kanye West, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Brad Paisley, Enrique Iglesias and Katy Perry.
The callback phase of “American Idol” auditions, where those who auditioned in several cities back in June or July and were advanced by the producers to then sing (well or awful, of course) in front of the show’s judges, is expected to take place in late September, shortly after the official announcement of the new judging panel.