Report: Randy Jackson nears ‘American Idol’ return

Randy Jackson looks to be returning as a judge on Season 12 of “American Idol.”

Despite recent reports indicating that the longtime cast member (and only remaining original judge) would be serving as a mentor only on the upcoming season, Deadline now says Fox has made a deal with Jackson to remain in his original role on the panel alongside the recently-announced Mariah Carey and – at least according to several sources – rapper Nicki Minaj and country singer Keith Urban.

Jackson’s former cohort Simon Cowell tweeted about the news earlier this evening, seemingly confirming the Deadline report by stating: “Just heard randy is back on idol. Right decision.”

Some recent talk had indicated that Latin superstar Enrique Iglesias was potentially making a deal to fill one of the “Idol” judging slots (likely the one occupied by Jackson), but those negotiations have apparently broken down, leaving the door open for Jackson’s return.

Fox is expected to unveil the full four-person judging panel later this week.

“American Idol” Season 12 is slated to premiere in January.

Would you like to see Randy Jackson return as a judge on “American Idol,” or would you prefer he take on a lower-profile mentor role instead? Sound off below.