Randy Jackson attends the 12th Annual BMI Urban Awards at the Saban Theatre on September 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California
*Following months of hearsay that Randy Jackson, the lone remaining original “American Idol” judge, may move to a mentor role on the show next season, in a last-minute move, Fox has made a deal with him to return to the judging table, reports Deadline.com.
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According to sources close to the situation, the network already had an option on Jackson, so the deal-making was relatively straightforward and was wrapped quickly after talks with Enrique Iglesias broke off.
Sources indicate that the reasons to move away from Iglesias, who had been in negotiations for the gig, were not strictly financial. At TCA in July, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said that he fully expected Jackson to be back on the show without elaborating in what capacity.
“Just heard Randy is back on Idol,” former “Idol” judge Simon Cowell tweeted Monday night. “Right decision.”
As Mariah Carey’s co-manager, Jackson played an important part in getting her on the show, according to Deadline. Now, with both of their deals done, Fox is expected to unveil the new four-person judging panel this week as it finalizes the contracts for newcomers Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.
*TMZ is reporting that Nicki Minaj is in talks with Britney Spears’ camp to become the opening act on her upcoming tour.
The rapper would replace Enrique Iglesias, who bailed at the last minute – reportedly because he had second thoughts about serving as Britney’s opening act.
Nicki’s current tour with Lil Wayne and company ends on April 28, which would give her just short of two months to rest up before Britney’s trek begins on June 17 in Sacramento.
TMZ says, “We’re told it’s looking very good that Nicki and Britney will reach an agreement in the next day or so.”
*Maxwell is the lone R&B act that appears in the star-studded lineup of “Today’s” annual summer concert series, presented Fridays at Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan beginning May 14.
The soul crooner will take the stage on June 25 to promote his current album “BLACKsummers’night,” according to “Today” senior producer Melissa Lonner.
Sting, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, John Mayer and Carrie Underwood are also booked for the 2010 series sponsored by Toyota.
Below is the full itinerary:
Sting, May 14
The Script, May 21
“American Idol” winner/runner-up, June 3
Justin Bieber, June 4
Christina Aguilera, June 8
Rascal Flatts, June 11
James Taylor/Carole King, June 18
Maxwell, June 25
Maroon 5, July 2
Lady Gaga, July 9
Enrique Iglesias, July 16
John Mayer, July 23
Carrie Underwood, July 30
Train, Aug. 6
Ke$ha, Aug. 13
Keith Urban, Aug. 20
Katy Perry, Aug. 27