Recent speculation about who will fill the final “American Idol” judging position likely created a false sense of confidence about the rest of the show’s stability.
As it turns out, key executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick and judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Randy Jackson are not the only names leaving “Idol.” Deadline reported late Wednesday that Jimmy Iovine, who for the past several seasons has served as an in-house mentor, will be departing the show ahead of its upcoming thirteenth cycle.
And the news gets more interesting.
Iovine’s departure paves the way for Randy Jackson, who announced his stint as a judge would end after twelve seasons, to return in the mentor capacity.
A deal for a Jackson return is not yet complete, but he is reportedly the top candidate for the role.
Talk of Jackson serving in a mentor capacity is not new; the idea was actually floated prior to last season’s announcement that Jackson would, in fact, serve as a season twelve judge alongside Minaj, Carey and Keith Urban.
As far as the season thirteen judges go, only Urban is a lock for the panel. Though not officially announced, Jennifer Lopez seems nearly confirmed, which leaves the third seat vacant. As of press time, producer Dr. Luke was concerned the top contender.