UPDATE: Judge Randy Jackson says he's leaving American Idol, report suggests Nicki Minaj and others will be fired

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comMay 9, 2013 

UPDATE: Randy Jackson on Thursday confirmed to E! News that he's leaving "American Idol." He said, "Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season."

Here's my earlier story:

A news report says "American Idol" is cleaning house.

Fox plans to fire all four "Idol" judges -- Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, according to The Wrap. Producer Nigel Lythgoe is also getting the boot, it adds.

Should we believe it?

The idea isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility. Obviously, this season is a huge mess. Much of that is due to the talent level, though it's hard to ignore the obvious lack of chemistry on the judges' table.

Frankly, I don't care if the judges hate each other. I just want them to be useful, and that hasn't really happened this season. Increasingly, the judges' critiques have focused on things that have no bearing on someone's success as a recording artist. It took way too long for the judges to honestly critique Lazaro Arbos' vocals, instead of mumbling incessantly about his inspiring back story.

Viewer fatigue likely plays some role in any hatred of the judges. When you've watched this show for 12 seasons, critiques that once seemed somewhat thoughtful quickly transform into "Idol" cliches. Calling all future "Idol" judges: Let's retire phrases like "you could sing the phone book" and "that sounded a little karaoke."

I support a plan to fire all four judges.

But "Idol" execs should remember that ultimately, talent is what defines this show -- and that's why "Idol" is really suffering. Overhauling the judges' panel seems like a quick fix for a much larger problem.


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