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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 13

'American Idol' may reportedly have Randy Jackson returning as mentor, replacing Jimmy Iovine

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/22/2013 

American Idol viewers reportedly may not have seen the last of longtime judge Randy Jackson, but they may see him in a new role.

Music producer Jimmy Iovine, who has mentored American Idol's contestants for the last three seasons, is leaving the show and will likely be replaced by Jackson, Deadline Hollywood reported.

Iovine is the co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M. He joined American Idol for its tenth season in 2011 to fill the void of the blunt and snarky Simon Cowell, who quit the show to pursue an American edition of his similar The X Factor competition after being with Idol since its first season debuted on Fox in 2002.

Interscope Records' Universal Music Group has also served as American Idol's recording label partner the last three seasons, replacing Sony Music. Sony Music had served as American Idol's recording partner since the reality competition's first season when Cowell, a recording executive with Sony BMG, the company's predecessor, began serving as part of its judging panel.

Fox chairman Kevin Reilly had said earlier this month Jackson would "be back in some capacity," according to Deadline Hollywood. "He is a friend of show, and certainly guests spots [are a real possibility]."

Jackson announced in May he was leaving American Idol after appearing on the show for all 12 seasons. He was the only remaining original judge on the panel.

"Yo! Yo! Yo!" Jackson said in a media statement released by his publicist at the time.

"To put all of the speculation to rest, after twelve years of judging on American Idol I have decided to leave after this season. 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."

Shortly afterwards, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj had confirmed their departures while fellow newbie judge Keith Urban admitted he'd love to return to the show if given the opportunity. The country star's position on the thirteenth-season panel wasn't confirmed until this month.

Fox has yet to announce Jackson's replacement on the judging panel. 

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