Randy Jackson Back as ‘American Idol’ Judge
Jackson is said to be returning for season 12. While he was earlier expected to take on a new mentoring role and exit the judges' table, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that Jackson will stick with what he knows: being a relative moderate and judging 'Idol' hopefuls.
Jackson's slot was said to have been offered to Enrique Iglesias, but it looks like the 'Finally Found You' singer has either rejected or 'Idol' reneged the deal. Maybe his tourmate and former 'Idol' judge Jennifer Lopez gave him some dirt on the show that he didn't like -- but the likely sitch is that it was a scheduling and money issue, as competition shows require a huge time commitment from artists. That's why artists demand such a big payday, because that's cash they'd otherwise be missing out on from touring or promoting their own records. However, platforms like 'Idol' often lead to more exposure and deals (see J. Lo's almost endless list of endorsements and 'Dance Again' charting well).
It's unclear what Jackson's exact deal is, but his spot will likely complete the panel unless a fifth judge is added. Nick Jonas and Adam Lambert were other favorites to snag Jackson's judging position alongside country star Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, who became the highest paid reality TV judge in history through her $18 million tab.