'American Idol''s last original judge Randy Jackson is finally stepping down from the show after an impressive 12 year stint as both a judge and a mentor. While there's been reports in previous years of his ever impending departure, this time it's for good.
Randy Jackson finally leaves 'American Idol'
The former musician and record producer has been a constant fixture of the TV singing competition since 2002, where he worked alongside Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on the judging panel. As of 2014's Season 13, his role was changed from panel judge to in-house mentor, but now it's finally time to say goodbye. 'After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol', Randy Jackson announced in a statement to Deadline. '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 television shows ever.'
There were originally reports that Randy Jackson would step down as a judge for Season 12, but he remained alongside Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj before deciding to officially remain as a mentor only for the following series apparently due to increasing tension between Carey and Minaj.
'Randy has been such an integral part of American Idol since day one, both as a judge and as a mentor', Fox revealed to Deadline in a statement. 'He's provided great advice and support, shaping the success of so many Idols we have discovered over the years. 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.'