All the Memories! A Look Back at the Past ‘American Idol’ Judges

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Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell
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American Idol

Network: ABC

The Fox singing competition got an ABC makeover with Katy Perry, Lionle Richie, and Luke Bryan as judges. Ryan Seacrest continues his original hosting duties.

American Idol Judges
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Paula Abdul was one the OGs! She sat in one of the judges’ seats for eight seasons. The ’80s star was known for her positive feedback, which didn’t always make sense.

Randy Jackson arrives at the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital presents Kaleidoscope 5 at
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Randy Jackson was our main “dawg” for twelve seasons. He always sat in the first chair and reminisced about his time working with Whitney Houston and Madonna.

American Idol Judges
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Simon Cowell was known for his blunt criticism and low-cut tee shirts. Cowell had tremendous success with the British version of American Idol, so he decided to start the show in the States and continued to make millions. He was a producer and lasted as a judge until 2011.

American Idol Judges
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Record producer Kara DioGuardi, was added a fourth judge and lasted only two seasons. The mix of four opinions didn’t set well with audiences, and Idol went back to three.

American Idol Judges
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Talk show host and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres replaced Abdul and judged for one season. She brought the laughs but admitted she knew nothing about the music industry.

Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez onstage during the 'American Idol' panel during the FOX portion of the 2012 Winter TCA Tour
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Rocker Steve Tyler and triple-threat Jennifer Lopez both joined for Season 10. Tyler lasted for two seasons, as did Lopez, but she also wound up returning for the final season.

American Idol Judges
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Season 12 introduced Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj to the judging table. The two powerhouse women constantly made headlines for their bickering and the jabs they would take at each other on live TV!

American Idol Judges
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And in Idol‘s last two seasons, Lopez returned along with Urban. Harry Connick Jr. was the last addition to the team. The only person to last all fifteen seasons was the show’s host, Ryan Seacrest.

American Idol Judges
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With the revival quickly approaching, ABC signed on Super Bowl halftime performer Katy Perry, and she’s making an incredible $25 million salary. Perry has dipped her feet in previously as a guest judge on Season 9.

American Idol Judges
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New to the table is country crooner Luke Bryan! He was just confirmed to star in the series’ reboot as a judge. Bryan has several ACA awards, CMAs, and Billboard Music Awards.

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American Idol is being revived for its sixteenth season on ABC and Luke Bryan was just announced as the second person to fill one of the three judges chairs. In May, pop sensation Katy Perry was the first celebrity to sign on to be a judge on the reboot. A person for the third spot has yet to be locked in, and auditions reportedly start in the beginning of October!

The singing competition show ran for a stunning 15 seasons on FOX before calling it quits in April 2016, so let’s take a look back at all the former judges who made us laugh, cry, and oftentimes cringe.