Yes, there have been big rumors of a significant change coming to 'American Idol', but few expected it to include Randy Jackson departing the show. He announced Thursday that he would be walking away from the long-running show at the end of season twelve.

This is what Randy told E! Online,

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 was the last official tie to the original judges. He survived all these years while the other judges came and went. Now, everyone is wondering if there will be a completely new panel next year. Most think that Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban will not survive.

And, for no other reason than it's funny, here's a scene about Randy Jackson from 'Step-Brothers':