‘American Idol’: Randy Jackson Reveals One of His ‘Favorite Memories’ From Early Days on Show

by Samantha Whidden

Following the news that he will be returning to “American Idol” for a 20th season reunion, Randy Jackson is opening up about one of his favorite memories from the show.

While speaking to Entertainment Tonight earlier this week, Randy Jackson revealed one of his favorite memories on “American Idol” is when Kelly Clarkson won the very first season. “Because that’s when I realized that the show was really going to work,” Jackson explained. “I mean, it was meager beginnings, y’all. We started from the bottom, now we’re here.”

Randy Jackson then discussed why Clarkson’s big win was memorable to him as an “American Idol” judge. “I mean I’m like — I’m sitting there at the finale like, ‘All these people voted?’ She’s singing great. She’s singing ‘A Moment Like This.’ I really felt it in that moment, that it was going to work.”

Randy Jackson was an “American Idol” judge from 2002 to 2013 alongside fellow original judges Simon Powell and Paula Abdul. He returned for the show’s original series finale in 2016 on Fox. The show was then rebooted on ABC. Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie have been judges since the reboot. And Ryan Seacrest returned as the show’s host. 

Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul will be returning to “American Idol” for a 20th season reunion on Monda (May 2nd). Others returning for the reunion are Ruben Studdard, Scotty McCreery, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Lauren Alaina, Kris Allen, Maddie Poppe, Willie Spence, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Grace Kinstler, and Laci Kaye Booth.

Randy Jackson Discusses The Legacy That ‘American Idol’ Now Has 

As he continued his chat with Entertainment Tonight, Randy Jackson spoke about the legacy “American Idol” now has after 20 years of being on the small screen. “We did it from the beginning. Before anybody knew the show would be a success. So, when people talk about… You know, success has many fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers.”

Randy Jackson also gives current judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan for carrying that legacy. “I just tip my hat off to the show and to the legacy of the brand. And Katy, Lionel, and Luke, you guys are killing the game trying to keep it alive. I love it.”

The former judge then proclaimed there’s no other show like “American Idol” to him. “The greatest ever of any kind, to me. I mean, nothing like it before. Nothing like it after. And there’s a bunch to try and copy. And to duplicate and imitate. But yo, you never beat the OG.”

In regards to any regrets he has a judge, Randy Jackson added, “I feel like we missed a little bit on Jennifer Hudson, even though she’s gone on to do well. I felt like we missed a bit on Tamyra Gray.”