"Yo! Yo! Yo!" Jackson said in his trademark delivery. "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. 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."
Reports of Jackson's departure first surfaced on Wednesday when TheWrap.com cited an anonymous source saying Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban would all not be returning next season — in addition to longtime executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. Fox declined to comment.
Since the show's premiere in 2002, Jackson has seen nine judges come and go. Jackson was originally rumored to be leaving Idol last year after Season 11. However, he returned as a judge after reportedly playing an important role in getting Carey to sign on to the singing competition.
Do you think the other three judges will stay? Who would you like to see in Jackson's place?