Amid news that Alicia Keys will be performing her new song, "Tears Always Win," and Mariah Carey will be premiering her "Beautiful" video with Miguel on tonight's American Idol, an insider is reporting that the show is somewhat imploding behind the scenes and none of the judges will be returning for next season.
"All four are gone," the source told TheWrap. "They feel they've lost their core audience and they want it back."
Randy Jackson confirmed his exit today.
"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," he told E! News. "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."
Coincidentally, perhaps, those "other busines ventures" will not include managing MC as he has been doing since 2011. The singer recently switched to the same management as Alicia Keys.
None of this really comes as a surprise, though (well, the Jackson part does). Nick Cannon had already hinted that his wife is fed up with the producers and her YMCMB co-panelist, saying that the show is just a "footnote" in Carey's storied career. And Nicki said that she's been having a "dream" experience, but left it open as to whether or not she'll be returning.
All four of the current judges (Keith Urban is the fourth) have options written into their contract for their return. Fox reps declined to comment.
Speculation is that the dip in ratings (the show is getting beat out by The Voice, where Usher and Shakira are new judges this season), and the massive paychecks (MC signed on for $18 million; Nicki, $12 million) did not the winning combination make.
"No more big checks for divas," said the insider. That includes Jennifer Lopez (who signed onto season 10 for $15 million and was rumored to be in the running for season 13). No mention has been made of who is being considered for the new panel.
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(Photos: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)