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LOS ANGELES — Randy Jackson, the only judge who has been on American Idol since the beginning, is leaving the show.
Jackson said in a statement: “After 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season. I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It’s been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures.”
Jackson’s departure came a day after a report that all four Idol judges would be let go before the next season. The once-mighty singing competition series has been on the wane in recent years, with this season bringing the second straight year of double-digit declines in audience.
The other current judges are Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban. Jackson has been a steady presence on the show, which has seen quite a bit of upheaval at the judge’s table in recent years. Original judges Paula Abdul left in 2009 and Simon Cowell departed in 2010 to focus on his own competing series, The X Factor.
Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler also have been judges on the show.
While other judges have gained reputations for being harsh (Cowell), unpredictable (Abdul), or bringing outside drama onto the show (the reported Carey-Minaj feud), Jackson has remained upbeat and largely drama-free.
While Fox has not commented on the reports of the judges leaving, the network is presenting its new lineup to advertisers next week in New York City and could address the show’s future at that time.
20 North Gallery to close
20 North Gallery, which began selling fine art in downtown Toledo years before the renaissance of Fifth Third Field, Huntington Center, and several other studios and galleries, will close May 24.
“It has really been an absolute joy,” owner Eric Hillenbrand said. “The gallery has been a labor of love from its inception.”
“We’ve had offers and opportunities to go in different directions and we’ve been unable to do so,” said Condessa Croninger, art director for the 18 North St. Clair St. gallery. “It takes a lot of time and energy and passion. It’s time for us to invest that in other aspects of our lives.”
A closing party, 6 to 9 p.m. May 24, will feature memorabilia and highlights of its 20 years of operation, during which it represented more than 200 artists and organized 130 exhibits (many by Peggy Grant), some of which went on to be shown in museums. Reservations for the party are requested but not required, at email@example.com and 419-241-2400.
Kate Upton on Vogue
NEW YORK — Kate Upton has gone from a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model to the front page of Vogue.
Upton tells Vogue that runway modeling is “not what I set out to do” and that she wants to front a major fashion campaign and maybe even launch her own lingerie line.
She also says she would like to continue acting. Upton has appeared in The Three Stooges and Tower Heist. She’s also got a part in an upcoming film, The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann.
Of her various goals she says, “I’m American — more is more!”
This week, Upton attended the annual Met Ball in New York, which is hosted by Vogue.
The Vogue June issue goes on sale May 21.
David Bowie YouTube video gets warning
LOS ANGELES — It’s nice to know even a 66-year-old David Bowie can still elicit some pearl-clutching.
The video for the art-rock titan’s new single “The Next Day” stars Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard as a priest and a prostitute. It features a bit of PG-13 violence, sexual imagery, and religious iconography, but nothing out of sorts for the Thin White Duke. The clip is promoting his much-praised comeback album of the same title.
However, that topical triumvirate was enough to get the clip temporarily yanked from YouTube for violating its content guidelines.
The clip was down for only a short while before returning with an adult content advisory note. But the move was enough to raise the hackles of Bowie fans.
A YouTube spokesman told the BBC that “with the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”