The Dawg is Out: Randy Jackson is Leaving American Idol

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Who let the dawgs out? Randy Jackson. After 13 years of bringing his signature critique to contestants on Fox’s American Idol, the producer, songwriter, and personality is stepping down.

Fox announced Tuesday that Jackson would be leaving the show after transitioning from a judge to a mentor for its most-recent run. “Randy has been such an integral part of American Idol since day one, both as a judge and as a mentor,” the network told People. “He’s provided great advice and support, shaping the success of so many Idols we have discovered over the years. We wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

Jackson was part of Idol’s original judging panel alongside Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, and went on to critique with Kara DioGuardiEllen DeGeneres, Jennifer LopezMariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj. Once he departs for good, Ryan Seacrest will be the series’ sole surviving cast member from Idol’s 2002 debut.

“After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol,” Jackson said in a statement to People. “I’m proud to have been a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful television shows ever. A true original, Idol started it all. Onto what’s next.”

Still, there’s room for him to return to primetime. Fox says, “Randy will always be part of our Idol family and we hope he’ll visit from time to time.”