American Idol veteran Randy Jackson is said to be leaving the show for good as of the end of last season, bringing his 13 years of various roles to an end. A statement regarding the matter was released yesterday, which was given by FremantleMedia North America and 19E, who serve as producers for FOX and the reality singing competition respectively.
Said honchos detailed their immense gratitude for Jackson’s contribution to the show since it first debuted in 2002, which they say are unrivaled and became such a staple of the show’s success that they cannot imagine how it would have gone without him. They gave the 58-year-old high praise for his role both as a judge and a mentor, going on to express their view that the man was essential to the shaping of each Idol winner over the years, what with the constant stream of advice and support he offered to them whenever they needed. Executives have wished Jackson all the best in his feature endeavors regarding whatever path he feels is right to take in the next stage of his life, and say that he will always be part of the American Idol family regardless of whether he is an actual part of the show in the coming seasons.
This is not the first time that the Louisiana native has been adamant about calling it quits surrounding his involvement on Idol. Following the end of the show’s 12th season, in which the crown was awarded to Candace Glover (who ended up being something of a disasterious record sales flop due to her debut album being pushed back multiple months), Jackson issued a statement in which he claimed he was leaving the series as a judge. While he did keep to this promise, the legendary bassist made his re-entrance into the show’s limelight just one season later by taking on the role of contestant mentor. The purpose of this role was to offer support to each season’s participants in a less judgemental (literally) way than the actual judges themselves, in that Jackson and various other celebrities would come in and give varying advice on how he or she was doing or what they could do to pull off a better performance.
Jackson’s decision to cut all ties from the show is widely speculated to be in relation to how poorly it has been doing in ratings and post-crowning sales in the past few years. The aformentioned flop of Glover’s debut album resulted in her ranking as the lowest selling American Idol winner of all time, a feat that was dismally surprising after the disaster that was season 9 winner Lee Dewyze’s post-show album. Dewyze himself is widely considered to be the worst winner of all time, although that title became up for grabs in the public following the result of the show’s most recent season. The winning title was awarded to 23-year-old rocker Caleb Johnson, known for both his dramatic stage performances as well as his somewhat outlandish opinions on certain things (the North Carolina native came under fire a few months into the season for his labeling of over-enthusiastic social media fans as r*tards.) Johnson has since been awarded the unfortunate honor of poorest selling winner’s single of all time, garnering very little sales of the traditional champion’s song. These aforementioned dive in record sales and show popularity is said to be a very likely reason as to why Jackson decided to take his leave from associating with the show altogether, as many feel it will be canceled extremely soon (possibly even as immediately as the end of the upcoming 2015 season.)
It remains to be seen whether or not American Idol tenured member Randy Jackson will stick true to his claims of leaving the show for good, or whether or not he will reappear in some form as he has previously done. The program’s 14th season is said to debut on FOX sometime in January 2015.
By Rebecca Grace