A former “American Idol” judge just dropped a huge hint that he’s returning for the 20th anniversary season. Get ready for the Dawg Pound to be barking up a storm when Randy Jackson appears for the Top 24 performing at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii on the Monday, April 11 episode.
Jackson Let the ‘Cat Outta The Bag’ On Ryan Seacrest’s Radio Show
During an interview on Ryan Seacrest’s eponymous radio show, “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” the former “American Idol” judge was getting ready to say goodbye and Seacrest said that Jackson should text him so they can get together, to which Jackson said, “I think I’m seeing you soon, actually. Maybe next Monday night.”
To this, Seacrest replied, “Oh! Oh! Cat’s outta the bag! … He knows more about what I’m hosting than I do.”
It would not surprise us if “American Idol” did bring Jackson back as a guest judge or a mentor for the milestone 20th season. They have already welcomed six alums as in-house mentors — season two winner Ruben Studdard, season six winner Jordin Sparks, season seven winner David Cook, season nine winner Lee DeWyze, season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina, and season 10 third-place finisher Haley Reinhart.
Plus, on May 8, “American Idol” is staging a special reunion episode called “The Great Idol Reunion” that will feature 12 of the biggest finalists performing in duets — Studdard and Sparks, Alaina and season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, Cook and season eight winner Kris Allen, season 17 winner Laine Hardy and top-five finisher from that season Laci Kaye Booth, season 16 winner Maddie Poppe and that season’s runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson, and season 19 runner-up Willie Spence 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 long-time host revealed that back in the day when it was Seacrest, Jackson, Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, Jackson had to be the “babysitter.”
“You were the R.A., you babysat us,” said Seacrest.
“Because the boys were really like they were 5 [years old] … you do not understand the trouble these boys would get into. You do not understand. It’s not fit to be told on the radio right now,” said Jackson.
They reminisced about the time the three men shared a hotel room in Las Vegas and hijinks ensued, plus how late Simon Cowell always wanted to eat dinner.
“Cowell would always say, ‘You guys wanna have dinner tonight?’ ‘What time?’ ’10:30.’ Oh my god, he didn’t get there til 11 o’clock,” said Seacrest with a laugh, to which Jackson quipped, “It was an all-night dinner … what time zone do you want to have dinner in?”
Jackson was one of the original “American Idol” judges alongside Cowell and Abdul. Abdul left after season eight, Cowell left after season 10, and Jackson departed the judges’ table after season 12, though he appeared as the in-hour mentor in season 13 before leaving the show for good.
When the show announced it was the final season on FOX, the three OG judges returned for the series finale in 2016 but have not yet appeared on the ABC seasons. The last time all three of them 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 one winner Kelly Clarkson.
There is no word yet as to what Jackson will be doing when he returns to “Idol” and if it is 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 times on ABC.