Sticking around on the same series for 13 years is a pretty incredible feat, regardless of what the show is. Reality TV is an even more fickle landscape for mainstays, and the surprisingly long-lasting American Idol is losing one of the few people who’d been around since it started. Ladies and gentleman, Grammy winner Randy Jackson has left the building.

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Jackson is officially bowing out of American Idol two months before it’s set to begin Season 14, according to THR. To be expected, the press release from Fox rained praise down upon him and left the door open for Jackson to return to the series in the future “from time to time,” if he so chooses. No reason was given for his departure, but I don’t think anyone will be treating this like a big gossipy mystery. Sometimes you just have to move on.

The Baton Rouge native first started on the show with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, outlasting them both by three and four years, respectively. He sat alongside shortlived judges like Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Lopez, giving up the judges’ seat after Season 12. He originally wasn’t going to return to the show at all, but decided to come back for Season 13 as a mentor. So it’s entirely possible he’ll later announce that he’s returning to the show in an even smaller capacity.

It isn’t likely that Jackson will ever look back on his time with American Idol in disdain, at least not in the way that Mariah Carey did. But a potential tell-all book from him would be something to behold, and would no doubt feature stories of Simon Cowell feasting on demon heads and other assorted tales. Oddly enough, someone has access to the audio book, which you can listen to below.



American Idol will return to Fox for Season 14 starting January 14, 2015, with returning judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. Will you guys be watching, or is there anyone out there who tuned in solely to see Randy Jackson work his magic?

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