Randy Jackson has Simon Cowell’s spot at the American Idol judges’ table

The last original American Idol judge, Randy Jackson, has taken Simon Cowell’s spot at the right side of the judges’ table, and will comment last. Jennifer Lopez is in the middle, and Steven Tyler is on the left and will critique contestants first.

That’s according to this picture, which Nigel Lythgoe tweeted late Tuesday after auditions in New Jersey. While the judges’ table was sometimes reversed, even in recent seasons, that gave me hope that Randy would remain in his same irrelevant spot, and Steven Tyler would have the last word.

But Randy told the New York Post, “I’ve been doing the show for a while and really just trying to help [Tyler and Lopez]. It just kind of happened that way. I’ll sit here and nobody will ever say, ‘Dawg, you’ve become Cowell. Cowell is the Dawg.'”

And since Randy also hasn’t decided to give up the “dawg” thing, it looks like that’s what every critique will end with. And what may help to end the show.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.