We all know that next year will be the last time American Idol will cross our TV screens, at least assuming that it doesn’t get immediately rebooted by Fox. And since many shows spend their last seasons looking back on the past while reliving some former glory, it should come as no surprise that American Idol will be doing the same thing by bringing back Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, the original trio of judges that helped turn the show into such a mega-hit to begin with. I’m guessing they won’t need to audition to get back on.

This huge news comes from host Ryan Seacrest himself, who shared it with Access Hollywood.
I’ve spoken to all of them recently and we as a team have talked to them about coming back to do something for the final season. They are going to do it. It’s just a matter of figuring out what to do with them.

So, it should be clear to everyone from those words that Cowell, Jackson and Abdul won’t be returning to the show as judges, as that would probably be tough to do with other things going on in their respective careers right now. But they’ll be there in some capacity, although it’s also not clear if it’ll be for just a one-episode event or something spanning multiple inights. However it goes, it’ll be interesting to see the three originals mixing it up with the current trio of Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr.

When the story first broke, it wasn’t clear exactly who Seacrest was talking about, and speculation started up about whether or not American Idol could possibly get Ellen DeGeneres and Mariah Carey to return to the show, considering they have both been quite vocal about how much they disliked their experiences as judges. The updated story cleared that right up, though. I’m guessing that would never happen anyway, but it’s perfectly possible that other former judges Kara DioGuardi, Steven Tyler and Nicki Minaj could return in some way.

We can also expect to see some former winners returning for performances and possibly mentoring of the contestants. Given it’ll be the last season for the show, everyone involved probably wants the winner to be one of the most successful people to ever come out of it.

Relive some of Simon Cowell’s best jibs and jabs in the video below. I’m betting his return will be mostly free from spiky insults, but I’ve been wrong before.



Fans can expect to find American Idol returning to Fox for a two-night premiere starting Wednesday, January 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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