Are the dawg’s days as “American Idol” judge over? Multiple TMZ sources have confirmed that Jackson, the only remaining original on-air “Idol” fixture next to Ryan Seacrest, will be transitioning into a “mentor” role next season.
TMZ sources claim the show’s higher-ups have concerns about Jackson’s ability to fill the mentor position (after all, he doesn’t exactly have the bite of Jimmy Iovine), but feel his continued participation in the show is essential — especially as Mariah Carey, who is co-managed by Jackson, fills the seat vacated by Jennifer Lopez.
Rumors continue to rage about additional replacements on the judge’s panel, with insiders telling TMZ that Nicki Minaj’s deal is close to being signed.
A fourth judging position may also still be up for grabs, with producers reportedly looking for a country music star to fill that chair.
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In addition to Minaj, other performers allegedly in the running are Keith Urban, Nick Jonas, and Alanis Morissette. Kanye West and Diddy are reportedly out.
With Nigel Lythgoe officially back on board for next season, it shouldn’t take long for his promise to “lock in the judges” to come to fruition.