It's one thing that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are leaving American Idol - Fox has yet to make an official statement on Lopez' departure as they have with Tyler's, but it's all but confirmed that she's not returning - but it's another for Randy Jackson to depart. Word is, the last of the original American Idol judges is stepping away from the table.

According to TMZ, Randy Jackson is leaving the judges table of American Idol. Note that they don't say he's leaving the series entirely. According to the site, Jackson will stay with the singing competition series as a mentor, but will no longer be a judge. From the sound of it, the mentor role may be less about Jackson offering professional guidance to the aspiring Idols as it is keeping him attached to the show because "they feel they need him because he's the glue that helps keep the show together."

As for who will step in as his replacement, it sounds like Nicki Minaj is the likely contender, but that's not set in stone yet. TMZ says Kanye West and Sean "Diddy" Combs, both of whom were being pursued for judges' spots, are out of the picture, according to their sources.

Mariah Carey is currently locked in to judge, but we still don't know for sure who will be joining her at the table. TMZ mentioned there being four judges in Season 12, and one of those people may have a country background. That seems fitting, considering the number of country singers who participate in the competition. The genre was always a bit underrepresented at the judges table (If I remember correctly, Simon was never a big fan).

No official word on Jackson's departure from Fox, but if anything's announced, we'll post an update!

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