Randy Jackson

Michael Becker / FOX

Looks like the original dawg is sticking around.

Randy Jackson, who has been part of American Idol since the dawn of time season one, is nearing a deal to return as a judge for season 12, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He'll be taking the spot that was supposed to go to singer-songerwriter Enrique Iglesias, who was offered a deal to join the show as recently as four days ago.

Since Idol started changing up its judging table, Jackson's future has been up in the air. There were whispers that he would only come back in a mentoring role, while other reports said he wouldn't be returning at all. But now, the deal appears to be as good as done that he'll be next to Mariah Carey and…Nicki Minaj? Keith Urban? Those spots are technically still up for grabs. Perhaps we will get the rest of the judging panel locked down soon, because after all, returning executive producer Nigel Lythgoe says that's his first priority.


Last night, former Idol judge Simon Cowell, who has his own hands full preparing for the launch of a new season of The X Factor, tweeted his support for his old costar last night: "Just heard randy is back on idol. Right decision."

Fox has no comment on the rumors that Randy Jackson is signing on to return.


Are you happy Randy is returning to Idol? Or do you think it's time for some fresh faces?

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