A former American Idol judge just dropped a big hint that he’s returning for the 20th anniversary season. Get ready for the Dawg Pound that’s set to stir up a storm when Randy Jackson performs for the Top 24 at Disney’s Aulani Resort, Hawaii on Monday, April 11 episode.
Jackson let the “cat out of the bag” on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show
During an interview on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show of the same name, On Air With Ryan Seacrest, the former American Idol judge got ready to say goodbye, and Seacrest said Jackson should text him so they could get together, to which Jackson said : “I think I’ll see you soon, actually. Maybe next Monday evening.”
To which Seacrest replied, “Oh! Oh! The cat is out of the bag! … He knows more about what I’m hosting than I do.”
We wouldn’t be surprised if American Idol brought Jackson back as a guest judge or mentor for season 20. They’ve already welcomed six alums as internal mentors – Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard, Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Season 7 winner David Cook, Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze, Season 10 runner-up . Season 10 finisher Lauren Alaina and third place finisher Haley Reinhart.
Also, American Idol is staging a special reunion episode on May 8 called The Great Idol Reunion, which will feature 12 of the biggest finalists in a duet – Studdard and Sparks, Alaina and Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, Cook and season eight winners Kris Allen, Laine Hardy, season 17 winner and Laci Kaye Booth, this season’s top five finisher, Maddie Poppe, season 16 winner, and this season’s runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson, and Willie Spence, season 19 runner-up and third-place finisher Grace Kinstler.
Jackson used to be the Hall Monitor for the “Idol” crew
Also on “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” the longtime host revealed that back when there were Seacrest, Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, Jackson had to be the “babysitter.”
“You were the RA, you took care of us,” Seacrest said.
“Because the boys were really like they were 5 [years old] …you don’t understand the trouble these guys would get in. You do not understand. It’s not appropriate to say it on the radio now,” Jackson said.
They remembered the time when the three men shared a Las Vegas hotel room and jokes broke out, and how late Simon Cowell always wanted to have dinner.
“Cowell used to say, ‘Do you want to have dinner tonight?’ ‘What’s the time?’ ’10:30.’ Oh my god it didn’t get in until 11pm,” Seacrest said with a laugh, to which Jackson quipped, “It was a nightly dinner… what time zone would you like to have dinner in?”
Jackson was one of the original American Idol judges alongside Cowell and Abdul. Abdul left after season 8, Cowell left after season 10, and Jackson left the judges’ table after season 12, though he appeared as an in-hour mentor in season 13 before leaving the show for good.
When the show announced it was its final season on FOX, the three OG judges returned for the series finale in 2016, but have yet to appear on ABC seasons. The last time all three were together (at least on TV) was during the first season of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in 2019 where they reunited with American Idol season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson.
There’s no word yet on what Jackson will do when he returns to Idol and if it’s just a one-off appearance. Heavy has reached out to ABC for comment.
“American Idol” is currently in its 20th season. It airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time on ABC.
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