As of now, “American Idol” remains the Keith Urban rodeo. Will it stay that way? Only time will tell. Thursday evening, it was confirmed that both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj will join Randy Jackson away from the judge’s table. Carey confirmed via Twitter that she will not be returning to the competition. FOX, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment released a joint statement saying
“Mariah Carey is a true global icon — one of the most accomplished artists on the planet — and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the American Idol contestants this season. We know she will remain an inspiration to Idol hopefuls for many seasons to come.”
Not long after the news about Carey broke, another statement was released to confirm Nicki’s departure as well. “Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to American Idol and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best.”
The departures come as no surprise, as rumors have been swirling for some time now that Idol plans to re-tool the panel, maybe even with show alumni. Original judge Randy Jackson confirmed his departure before the season’s finale. Also of note is the departure of Fox Reality Chief, Mike Darnell, as announced late last week.