The Inquisition has commenced at Fox’s American Idol and Randy Jackson, the only remaining original judge will be the first to go. To be fair, Jackson is leaving on his own accord, or at least the head honchos at Idol are letting him make it seem so. Earlier this week he announced his graceful exit: “Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol’ I have decided it is time to leave after this season,” he said.

“I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry,” said Jackson, who has been on the show since its inception in 2002. The bets are now being placed on who will be next. It’s no secret that ratings have been lower than ever this season (New York Daily News reports a 25% drop since last season). It’s also a widely known fact that should the changes continue, the judging panel to be the first to go. Nicki Minaj addressed the commotion on Ryan Seacrest’s show this Thursday, saying: “That’s a million-dollar question. I have to say this all the time, but I want people to know it’s genuinely from my heart. I love the people on ‘Idol.’ I genuinely do. If I had to do this all over again, I would have done ‘Idol.’ Because it’s fun, it’s laughs.” In might be, but not for very much longer.

Randy Jackson, American Idol
The original judge was the first to go.