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‘American Idol’ Drama: All Four Judges Reportedly Will Be Replaced for Season 13

American Idol Judges
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

It’s time to tear it down and start all over on ‘American Idol.’ With Season 12 experiencing the lowest ratings in the show’s history, producers are planning to clean house and start anew with a totally reveamped judge’s panel for Season 13. They plan on ditching dueling divas Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, as well as country crooner Keith Urban and the lone original judge Randy Jackson, who incidentally just split with Carey as her manager.

The Wrap reports that a source with knowledge of the show’s plans said that none of the current judges will be extended an invite for Season 13. Even producer Nigel Lythgoe is said to be on his way out. And no, Season 10 and 11 judge Jennifer Lopez will not be asked to swoop in and save the day. With ratings down 22 percent this season, it’s full on panic mode over at Fox.

The show is ditching the current panel because it fears they’ve lost the core audience and want to bring in younger viewers. In order to do that, they need to enact sweeping changes.

The source also said, “No more big checks for divas,” a clear dig at Carey, who was reportedly paid a handsome $18 million to do little more than cry over performances and fight with her Minajesty. They don’t want to shell out top dollar for big names that don’t improve ratings.

Not even the battles between Mimi and Minaj did much to drum up interest. In fact, it felt like the rivalry was staged at some points.

The actual show format is also due for an overhaul. The look will be redesigned and tribute nights will be tossed. The audition phase should remain untouched.

Despite the ratings slide, which has been a trend each season in recent years, the show won’t be canceled because it still generates lots of revenue and there is no replacement on deck. But it’s still getting its butt kicked by NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ so changes are inevitable.

Strap yourself in, ‘Idol’ fans. This ride is about to get bumpy.

Next: Vote Nicki or Mariah for Best Reality TV Judge

Watch the ‘American Idol’ Season 12 Promo

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