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Later, Dawg: Randy Jackson leaving 'American Idol'

By Derrik J. Lang

AP Entertainment Writer

LAST UPDATED: 01:29 p.m. HST, May 09, 2013

LOS ANGELES >> Jackson out.

Randy Jackson, the lone original "American Idol" judge, says he won't be returning to the Fox talent competition.

"To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on 'American Idol,' I have decided to leave after this season," Jackson said in a statement Thursday. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry."

The 56-year-old record producer and bassist called the experience a "life-changing opportunity." He said he's leaving "Idol" to focus on his record label and other business opportunities.

Jackson has served as a judge on all 12 seasons of "Idol." He first appeared on the panel alongside Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul when the competition debuted in 2002, becoming famous for his easygoing "yo, dawg" rapport with contestants.

Jackson currently judges the show with pop royalty Mariah Carey, R&B diva Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban. His exit comes amid reports the entire panel will be replaced next season. A spokeswoman for Fox and spokesman for "Idol" producer FremantleMedia declined to comment.

Ratings for "Idol" have plummeted this season. The show has been the most popular entertainment program in prime time for nine years running, but it's likely "Idol" will lose that distinction this season. It's now regularly behind the NBC singing competition "The Voice" in the weekly ratings.

The current 12th season is set to conclude next week.

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GooglyMoogly wrote:
Do these talent competitions matter anymore?
on May 9,2013 | 02:04PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
I should clarify. They never truly "mattered", but are they still (pop-)culturally relevant?
on May 9,2013 | 02:26PM
vapors wrote:
Not surprised at all that AI lost a lot of appeal this season. It's been HORRIBLE to say the least. The judges, I should say Randy and Keith are pretty much what keeps the judging panel a bit in check. But Nikki and Mariah, OMG! They both DO NOT BELONG ON ANY PANEL JUDGING ANY CONTEST. FOX brought in the wrong people to sit on this panel and it doomed AI, if not it's entire show. The Popularity shows need to go away anyway. I mean these "TALENT' shows. It's become so transparent and corrupt.
on May 9,2013 | 02:24PM
Mei mei wrote:
CORRUPT IN WHAT SENSE??? any way, found the talent to still be good, and the show pretty entertaining, yes it's lost some of it's appeal, but i think thats just due to being on air for soo long, it happens ~
on May 9,2013 | 02:52PM
gth wrote:
'Bout time Randy quit! Keith should stay, the rest can go their own way....Jennifer and Paula should not come back.
on May 9,2013 | 04:37PM
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