All four judges could be voted off the panel of faltering Fox icon "American Idol," according to a new report.
The Wrap quoted an industry insider saying the show plans to start with a clean slate, giving even original judge Randy Jackson the boot as well as longtime producer Nigel Lythgoe. The report goes on to add that, despite other media reports, former judge Jennifer Lopez will not be back to save the show.
Fox declined to comment on the report.
Though "American Idol" remains popular, its ratings are down almost 25 percent from last year, when they were at their lowest in the show's 11-year history. Even as the talent contest builds toward crowning a winner next week, less than 11 million viewers tuned in to see the Top three perform Wednesday.
M.J. Santilli, who writes MJs Big Blog about the show, said usually around this point in the season, "American Idol" is drawing close to 30 million viewers.
There are a number of factors contributing to the drop, including the fact that the show is old by today's TV standards, but the ratings have certainly not been helped by the judges this year, Santilli said.
"I think the producers thought that the feud would bring in ratings at first, but then it got away from them," she added. "What's happening between Nicki and Mariah is very real."
Besides the apparent disdain between the panel's two female judges, Santilli said all four judges have their drawbacks:
Keith Urban tends to "beat around the bush" too much.
Carey is "long-winded," though she clearly understands vocal technique.
Minaj started out a straight-shooter but has become plain old "mean," attacking the judges and contestants not just on the show but on Twitter.
And Jackson is simply "boring" at this point and doesn't "add anything."
"I think they need a clean sweep at this point," Santilli said.
She suggests cutting the panel back to three, steering clear of big stars who demand big paychecks, getting current singers and producers, and taking everyone out to dinner to gauge their chemistry.
Tonight, "Idol" will announce the two finalists who will compete for the crown next week. For the first time in years, the winner will be female.
"All of these girls are as talented as any girl in past seasons," Santilli said. "But as talented as they are, they are completely overshadowed by all this other stuff and it's a shame."