The Real Reason Paula Abdul And Randy Jackson Are Returning To American Idol

"American Idol" is going to hit viewers in the nostalgic feels by bringing back two famous faces from the OG judging panel, per Entertainment Tonight: "Straight Up" singer Paula Abdul and producer Randy Jackson, who can currently be seen on the Fox game show "Name That Tune."

Abdul was the first of the two judges to exit "Idol" in 2009 after seven years on the show. When she watched future superstar Kelly Clarkson win the first season in 2002, she and Jackson were joined at the judges' table by Simon Cowell. Insiders told The New York Times that one reason Abdul left was her belief that she was a victim of the entertainment industry's notorious gender pay gap. The show brought in a fourth panelist before she quit, songwriter Kara DioGuardi, and in an interview with ABC's "Nightline," Abdul was asked if she thought DioGuardi would replace her. "I don't think anyone [can]," she said. "Whenever there is change it's not about replacing anybody. It's about possibly moving on." Abdul would go on to appear as a judge on "The X Factor," "Live to Dance," and "So You Think You Can Dance."

Abdul also returned to "American Idol" for what was supposed to be its series finale in 2016. She was joined by Jackson, who had left the show in 2013. "After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave 'American Idol,'" he told Deadline of his exit. So, why are he and Abdul reuniting yet again?

Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are helping American Idol celebrate a big milestone

Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson are fittingly going to be a part of the "American Idol" reunion special, which will air May 2 on ABC, as reported by Entertainment Tonight. Since they left, the judges' table has been more of a revolving door: Nicki Minaj, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick Jr., and Mariah Carey have all aided the show in its search for the next singing sensation. But, for the series' 20th anniversary celebration, Jackson and Abdul will be joining current judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. According to Deadline, viewers can also expect to see appearances by past "American Idol" contestants, who will pair up to perform duets.

Earlier this month, Jackson actually threw a little shade at the foursome who are currently helping America decide the "Idol" contestants' fate. "Now I think they're all too nice. This is a tough, hard, mean, give-zero-Fs business," he told Yahoo! Entertainment. "One of the things I don't like today is there's very little truth being told on these shows."

Simon Cowell was known for his brutal honesty, but his name's noticeably absent in reports about the reunion special. This means we won't get to see any of his entertaining banter with Abdul. In a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Abdul recalled, "I would say to Simon, 'You know the show ended when I left.' ... He'd say, 'Oh, shut up.' But it's true!"