Randy Jackson: American Idol Has The Staying Power To Be On ‘As Long As They Want’

Randy Jackson has been the one constant on “American Idol’s” judges’ panel throughout the show’s 12-season run, but the “Dawg” says he did contemplate bowing out after Season 11.

“It did cross my mind [to leave ‘Idol’], ‘cause, you know, when we started this, we never knew it would go this long,” Randy told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover and Wednesday’s Access Hollywood Live. “So, thank God, I was so blessed to have the show and have it go this long, but, you know, sometimes you want to look at some other stuff.”

Now sandwiched between new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, Randy said he thinks “Idol” has the potential to continue to air for many seasons to come.

“This show could go as long as they really want it to go — I mean, you look at even the numbers now,” he said. “It’s the greatest [show] of its kind.

“Most things on TV that are reality shows, there’s no proof of concept — somebody wins and they just go away or whatever they get a trophy or prize and it’s on to the next one,” he continued. “This show, the afterlife is amazing when you look at the careers of Jennifer Hudson, you look at the career of Kelly Clarkson.”

As for why “Idol” seems to turn out legitimate superstars whose careers stand the test of time (when compared to competitors like “The X Factor” or “The Voice” whose winners have yet to achieve major post-show success), Randy said too much attention is focused on the judges of the other shows, versus the raw, new talent.

“When we started ‘Idol,’ nobody knew who we [the judges] were,” he explained. “We were not famous names! So we could be brutally, totally honest with people without worrying about whatever preceded us in our careers, [or] how people viewed us before.

Adding, “[And] we focus on the talent and we have some amazing talent this year. And that’s what the show is really about ‘cause kids win and they go on to have a shot at a career.”

Catch Randy, Nicki, Mariah and Keith on “American Idol” – Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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