Rumors were swirling around that all four American Idol judges would not be returning for Season 13, before the end of Season 12, but it looks like those rumors are coming true.
Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj have announced they won’t be returning, while Randy Jackson had announced he was leaving the show before the finale.
We may never know if the producers told the three judges, that they were leaving the show and gave them a chance to make it look like they were leaving on their own volition.
Keith Urban may also be leaving the show, but no announcements have been made to that effect, that I am aware of at the present time. He has stated that he has no idea, if he will be returning or not as recently as yesterday.
Urban may be retained if only because of monetary reasons, since he only earned $5 million as a judge last season, while Mariah Carey earned $18 million for her stint as a judge, while Nicki Minaj collected $12 million for her time on the judging panel.
The falling ratings for American Idol in Season 12 apparently have the producers going in another direction as they choose their Season 13 judges.
Plus, they don’t want a repeat of the Carey-Minaj feud, which was a major distraction last season. Fans tune in the show to hear the contestants and don’t want to see a feud between two of the judges.
Jennifer Hudson’s name has been mentioned as a possible judge on American Idol for the Season 13 season. We could even have a judging panel of all former American Idol. She is reportedly in negotiation to sign on with American Idol.
Other names mentioned as possible judges are Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken. This article says Urban will not be returning, but have yet to have seen an official announcement on his leaving.
Yahoo has listed the ratings of American Idol for each finale and the drop this season, as compared to the finale in Season 11 has to be a cause of alarm for the producers:
Wed-09/04/2002 8-10 PM 23.021M 10.8/30
Wed-05/21/2003 9-10 PM 38.060M 16.8/37
Wed-05/26/2004 8-10:02 PM 28.839M 12.0/32
Wed-05/25/2005 8-10:01 PM 30.269M 12.5/31
Wed-05/24/2006 8-10:04 PM 36.383M 14.2/36
Wed-05/23/2007 8-10:09 PM 30.755M 11.5/31
Wed-05/21/2008 8-10:06 PM 31.688M 11.4/30
Wed-05/20/2009 8-10:07 PM 28.838M 10.0/28
Wed-05/26/2010 8-10:07 PM 24.215M 8.2/24
Wed-05/25/2011 8-10:07 PM 29.288M 9.2/26
Wed-05/23/2012 8-10:07 PM 21.5M 6.4/18
Thurs-05/16/2013 8-10:07 PM 14.3M 3.6/11
17 million fewer viewers tuned in for the 2013 finale, compared to 31 million viewers watching the 2008 finale. The 14 million viewers this year saw a drop of 15 million viewers since 2011.
It will be interesting to see who comprises the Season 13 judging panel, but it is incumbent on the producers, to reverse the downward trend in the ratings.
The ultimate sign that the show is not drawing well as in the past, is when Duck Dynasty a A&E cable network reality show recently attracted more viewers, than American Idol in the 18-49 demographic.