*With Steven Tyler gone and Jennifer Lopez all but gone from “American Idol,” there are now reports that fellow judge Randy Jackson is also ready to leave the judge’s table as well – but not the show.
Us magazine reports that Jackson is considering a lateral move from judge to mentor on the show.
“Show producers think they need to freshen everything up now,” an unnamed source told the magazine.
On Thursday afternoon, Tyler announced his departure following a two-year run, citing a desire to go back to his first love, Aerosmith. Hours earlier, fellow two-termer J-Lo said on the “Today” show that it might be “time for me to go.”
Rumored replacements for the judges have included Adam Lambert, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and Black Eyed Peas band mates Fergie and will.i.am – but the most serious talk has once again surrounded Mariah Carey.
The singer, who happens to be managed by Randy Jackson, was a front runner to join the show in 2010, but those talks fell through. Us reports today that producers are now “very close” to signing her to a deal.
But Deadline Hollywood reported on Thursday that Lopez is not completely out the door. Though the 42-year-old singer wants to return to performing full time and revive her movie career, negotiations for another season on “Idol” are reportedly still under way.
“She wants to do movies. She’s expecting her team to deliver,” a source close to Lopez reportedly told the site. “She feels she’d rather be on ‘Idol’ performing than judging everyone else.” The source said even with ongoing negotiations, Lopez is probably gone for good. “I think she’s off and it’s mutual,” the source said of the star, who was reportedly paid $12 million a year for appearing on the show. “They’re not inviting her back so quickly. Not because they’re unhappy with her. But because she wants a lot of f—ing money, a lot.”
A source at Fox described the ongoing negotiations as “complicated and fluid,” saying that things may get resolved very quickly, or drag on for a few more weeks.
Though “Idol” has held the top-rated crown in TV for eight years, the 2012 season saw it slip to #2 behind “Sunday Night Football,” as ratings continued a steady decline and the May finale drew record-low ratings.