The Ultimate Song and Dance Man
Randy says nine seasons have flown by. "We started this and we never knew how long it would go or what would happen," he says. "We're just so blessed and lucky that the show took off."
But with Season 9 comes some major changes. Longtime judge Paula Abdul is out, and new judge Ellen DeGeneres will be taking her seat alongside Randy, Simon Cowell and Kara DioGuardi. "[Ellen's] a very dear friend of both mine and Ryan's and Simon as well," he says. "She's my homegirl. She's from Louisiana like me, so I'm really excited about that."
Still, Randy says things aren't the same without Paula. "I've got to admit, we do miss Paula," he says. "We just finished the auditions, and we look across the table and we go, 'Someone's missing.'"
Randy, who is the show's executive producer, has a soft spot for dance crews. As a high school freshman, he wanted to join one but had two left feet. "I tried to pose like I was part of a crew," he says. "I really couldn't get my groove on."
Once he saw the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Los Angeles, he knew there had to be a show about these crews. " They have such love and such camaraderie and unity that I just wanted to expose the world to this phenomenon that's happening in America that we've forgot that we've born here," he says. "I just love that it gives these kids a chance to express themselves."