Randy Jackson, the only original judge left on 'American Idol,' will leave after next week's season finale.
(Photo: Michael Becker, Fox)
(USA TODAY) -- Dawg, he's no longer it it to win it.
Randy Jackson, the musician and producer who has been a judge on American Idol since Season 1, says he will not be coming back to the panel for Season 13 next year.
"Yo! Yo! Yo!" he said in a statement released by his publicist. "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."
The "speculation" he refers to is Idol's drifting fortunes this season, with friction between panel-mates Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, and ratings down by a quarter year over year. The situation has spurred conjecture and some unsourced reports that Fox is planning an overhaul for next spring's cycle.
The Idol finale airs Thursday, May 16, 8 ET/PT on Fox.