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Randy Jackson to remain as 'American Idol' judge, reports say

Judge Randy Jackson speaks on stage during the

Judge Randy Jackson speaks on stage during the "American Idol" panel at the FOX Broadcasting Company portion of the 2012 Winter TCA Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

After weeks - months - of definitive reporting by variouis outlets that Randy Jackson would be eased out as a judge on "American Idol" into a mentoring role, there are now definitive reports that he will instead remain as a judge. These definitive reports sound more definitive than those other definitive reports, so we can now confidently report: Randy stays.

 What gives? Well, as you no doubt have read elsewhere, Enrique Iglesias negotiations broke down, so it was back to the drawing board, or at least back to Randy. That will  now leave four judges - including late-comer Keith Urban. This is all interesting for a whole bunch of reasons, notably the pitch for 36-year-old Iglesias in favor of 56-year-old Jackson. "Idol" is hell-bent on a youth kick, as it's audience ages out of the Fox demo, and as it tries to restart interest among teens; "The X Factor" returns tomorrow night and the new edition has been ruthlessly compressed into something that will appeal to teens and young adults only...

  Jackson's return is a good thing, naturally - even Simon Cowell tweeted as much this morning. Good especially for continuity, good for panel balance, good for institutional knowledge (of which the three newcomers have none.) Plus,he's a good judge. He's the council elder - the wiseman of the group who could and should keep matters on an even keel, and mediate whatever silly disputes erupt between Mariah Carey and Nicky Minaj (as Keith Urban looks on, bewildered...).

  Another interesting factoid: "Idol" hasn't a four judge panel since seasons eight and nine when Kara DioGuardi arrived, followed the next season by Ellen DeGeneres. The four-panel didn't work - in part - because there were too many voices and not enough time. How this will be mitigated next year remains a bit of a mystery for now...

Tags: randy jackson , american idol , enrique iglesias

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