Randy Jackson put an end to the rumors and officially announced that he will be leaving American Idol, and as the last remaining original judge his departure marks a major shift for the show.
Fans and critics of American Idol are unsure of just what Randy Jackson’s departure will mean for the show, but the Christian Science Monitor contends that it could be a good thing. After having been on the show so long, Jackson’s insights had become routine for some fans to the point that they could accurately predict what he would tell a singer.
Getting in some new blood could give the show a jolt and bring back viewers who saw the show as growing monotonous.
The change-up could also come at a much-needed time for the show’s ratings, the Christian Science Monitor noted. Last year’s matchup of Jessica Sanchez and Phil Phillips was the smallest audience for any American Idol finale, even worse than the show’s first season when it aired in the summer, a traditionally lower time for ratings.
American Idol reached a peak in ratings in 2003, when its finale drew 38.1 million viewers. Though it has declined in ratings, the show remains very profitable for Fox, with 30-second commercials fetching $500,000.
Randy Jackson won’t be leaving the show entirely, Fox News reported. He has signed on to return as a mentor, although sources close to the show say they are worried that he’s not suited well for the role.
Randy Jackson’s departure could give way to a new feel for the show. Next year will start with an entirely new slate of judges, with Mariah Carey already signed on and both Nicki Minaj and country signer Keith Urban close to signing contracts, Billboard reported. Nick Jonas is in talks to become the fourth judge.