The remaining pieces of the American Idol jigsaw are finally being put into place, with Simon Cowell tweeting that Randy Jackson's return to the show has been confirmed. "Just heard randy is back on idol. Right decision," he posted, in his characteristically concise manner, informing his 3.6 million followers of the latest news. As the show's producers have set about shaking up their personnel line-up, with the departures of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez vacating two of the judges' chairs, there had been reports that Jackson would be taking on more of a mentoring role, rather than a judge's role.
However, Deadline reported yesterday that it's looking more likely that Jackson will be back on the judges' table, according to sources close the show. The Fox network had reportedly been in talks with Enrique Iglesias but those negotiations never came to fruition. Fox already have an option on Randy, so the deal was sealed without too much hassle on either side. After all, as Mariah Carey's co-manager, Randy played a pivotal role in getting Mariah on the show and she's sure to be a big draw in terms of viewer figures, so Fox will have been keen to keep him sweet.
With Randy's role confirmed, Fox are inching nearer to a grand announcement, revealing the four-person judging panel. Fox are thought to be finalising contracts with Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban this week but until that official announcement comes, nothing is set in stone.