It was a bit surreal to hear that Randy Jackson would not be returning as a judge for American Idol this season, but it seems that news was a bit premature. Either Enrique Iglesias' negotiations bottomed out, or Randy Jackson's negotiations improved because the one and only Dog is back to dole out his usual string of criticisms and praise this year.
This is a good thing for American Idol since the current panel is going to be definite culture shock for old-school American Idol fans. Randy will join Nicky Minaj, Keith Urban and Mariah Carey as part of a four-person panel. There are rumors that Minaj and Carey are feuding, so there will definitely be some enjoyable tension there, but with two Divas on the panel it's difficult to imagine their egos not taking away from the substance of Idol.
Jackson was one of the original judges of American Idol along with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. His signature style of judging has definitely been part of Idol’s appeal, so bringing him back may yet extend the longevity of the show. Ratings have held together quite well for American Idol over the years, but the show has never had to deal with a full reset of the judging panel before. The last two seasons did show some decent foresight on behalf of the American Idol producers with the addition of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, both turned out to be quite entertaining to watch. Minaj, Urban, and Carey are still very much untested, so having Jackson back to anchor the judging culture of idol will definitely be a plus.