Randy Jackson, the only original remaining judge on “American Idol,” seems to be indicating that he’ll remain on the show for the upcoming season.
Appearing on “The View” on Monday, Jackson refused to say whether or not he was leaving the show. But afterward, when asked by ABC News whether fans would still be able to see him in some capacity on “American Idol,” Jackson said emphatically, “The dawg is alive and well!”
Jackson’s presence on the show’s 12th season seemed to be confirmed Monday night when former ”American Idol” judge Simon Cowell tweeted, “Just heard randy is back on idol. Right decision.”
On Monday night The Hollywood Reporter declared that plans to move Randy into a mentor role have been scrapped, and that he will return as judge. In addition, Fox reportedly has ended talks to bring Enrique Iglesias aboard as a judge, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Rumors are still persisting that rapper Nicki Minaj is joining the panel. Though Jackson wouldn’t directly address these rumors about Minaj, when asked how he felt about a rapper judging a singing competition, he told ABC News that she would bring something to the show as a performer.
“Everybody can have a point of view. If you’re a performer, an entertainer, if you’re in the industry…anybody in the industry with a successful career definitely knows something about talent,” he said.
Jackson says he’s “disturbed” by the fact that people continually gossip about the judges on “American Idol” – and other reality competition shows “The Voice” and “The X Factor” — because it takes away from what these shows are really about: the contestants.
“It really comes down to the contestants because that’s who’s going to be doing most of the work,” Jackson said. “The competition is really between them. It’s not between the judges. So, I just hate that people take the focus off the meat of it, you know. That’s the eye of the whole thing. That’s what makes it go. You have to find — and you have to have — great talent in order to have a successful show.”
Speaking of contestants, Jackson said he’s very happy about the success that reigning champion Phillip Phillips is having with his debut single “Home.”
“[I'm] so proud of Phillip Phillips. So happy that his song got even a second life [thanks to the Olympics],” he said. “It’s just an amazing song and he’s just an amazing guy…big props to him being on the show and going through with his own physical struggles.”
Jackson appeared on “The View” Monday to promote his involvement in a new campaign called Taking Diabetes to Heart, which gives people resources and information to help them manage their diabetes. Jackson was diagnosed with the disease in 2003, and he says he didn’t even know he had it.
“I was tired. I was perspiring. I was urinating all the time. [I] couldn’t quite quench my thirst. I thought I had a cold or flu,” he said. ”Wound up in the emergency room with a blood sugar of over 500 realizing that I had Type 2 Diabetes. I mean, it’s just, it’s a bad, bad disease and there is no cure.”
As a result, Jackson says, he completely changed his lifestyle, including his diet.
“I had to give up my style of eating growing up in lovely Louisiana where food is just so rich and so fried and so buttery and so sugary,” he said. ”I had to divorce that type of eating and I had to eat a lot cleaner. So, I had to eat a lot more fruits and vegetables.”
Randy also started walking, which he recommends to anyone.
“Walking is so simple…I took simple steps that I could really stick with,” he says. Visit TakingDiabetestoHeart.com to get more tips from Jackson about managing diabetes.