AmericanIdol‘s upcoming season will look dramatically different, as none of the current four judges will be returning to the singing competition.
An individual with knowledge of Fox’s plans told TheWrap that not only are the judges getting the axe, but so is longtime producer Nigel Lythgoe. However, contrary to previous reports, the network has no intention of bringing back Jennifer Lopez, who judged the tenth and eleventh seasons of the singing competition.
“All four are gone,” the insider said. “They feel they’ve lost their core audience and they want it back.” The judges have the option to return for next season, but Fox won’t pick them up.
“No more big checks for the divas,” the source said. However, the source made no mention of whether host Ryan Seacrest was also on the chopping block.
A Fox spokesman declined to comment.
While it might not be surprising that Fox is considering getting rid of new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban, the fact that Randy Jackson could also be losing his job is a bit shocking. Jackson is the only original judge left on the show. The other two original hosts, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, left the singing competition in seasons 8 and 9, respectively.
For the first seven seasons, the trio were the only judges — it wasn’t until the addition of Kara DioGuardi in season 8 that Idol had a four-judge panel. For seasons 10 and 11, it was back to three judges, with Jackson and Lopez joined by Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.
American Idol hit series lows with 11.08 million viewers for the top four performance on May 1. The on-going feud between Carey and Minaj probably isn’t helping either, although Idol producers heavily promoted the divas’ discord in season 11. Things have gotten so bad between the two that Carey allegedly increased her security after Minaj threateened to shoot her.
American Idol‘s format will also be redesigned. There will be no more tribute nights, but the audition episodes will remain.
Do you think American Idol will — or should — get rid of all four judges? Should Ryan Seacrest get the boot, too?