Randy Jackson Speaks Out on Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler's American Idol Exits

Entertainment Jul. 15, 2012 AT 10:30AM
 Steven Tyler,  Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson at FOX's 'American Idol' Season 11 Top 6 Live Performance Show on April 25, 2012 in Hollywood, California. Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson at FOX's 'American Idol' Season 11 Top 6 Live Performance Show on April 25, 2012 in Hollywood, California. Credit: FOX via Getty Images

Randy Jackson's future on American Idol remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: the Idol veteran won't sever ties to Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez just because they've exited the FOX series.

"Steven and Jennifer are truly two of the most talented and consummate professionals I've worked with," Idol's only remaining original judge, 56, told Gossip Cop in a statement. "I was friends with them before we hopped on this crazy journey together and I have no doubt our friendships will continue long after. I will love them for life."

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On Friday, Lopez, 42, confirmed her much-anticipated exit to Idol's host, Ryan Seacrest, on his KIIS-FM radio show. "The time has come," Lopez said, one day after her colleague Tyler announced he too would not return for season 12. "I've decided it's time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit . . .I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I'm back," the rocker, 64, admitted.

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As Idol fans and its FOX network come to terms with Lopez and Tyler's departures, the show may be in for an additional shakeup, as a source tells Us Weekly Jackson's role may change from judge to mentor.

When it comes to filling the judges' panel, many high-profile names have been bandied about. Among the top contenders: Mariah Carey. "They are in serious talks with Mariah and it's very close to being a done deal," the source says.

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