The dawg is out.
Randy Jackson has announced his plans to leave American Idol after the 12th season wraps next week.
“Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season,” Jackson, the only original judge left on the panel, said in a statement to E! News. “I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It’s been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures.”
Jackson’s announcement comes as rumors of mass firings and a complete makeover for the aging show began to swirl. In a Yahoo TV report, an “insider” alleges all four current Idol judges — Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj — would not have their contracts picked up for the 13th season even if they decided they’d want to stay and a whole new panel would be hired. The insider also reports longtime producer Nigel Lythgoe would also be given the boot.
Fox has yet to comment on the rumors.
The season 12 American Idol finale, and Jackson’s final episode, will air live on May 16.