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American Idol's Randy Jackson on "The Shock of My Life"

Jackson has been an Idol judge since the show started in 2002. (Photo courtesy of PMK)

After speaking with Randy Jackson yesterday, we couldn't say that we were too surprised to hear a big American Idol announcement this morning. As the only returning judge on the panel (Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler stepped down after the last season), Jackson was tight-lipped about the show. Today we learned that Jackson himself was instrumental in helping Mariah Carey sign on as a judge for the 12th season. Here's what he had to say about it on Twitter this morning:

Since the show casting was, and is, still in negotiation (who will fill Tyler's seat?), Jackson wanted to talk to us about another topic close to his heart: diabetes. Nine years ago, the music producer was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and it's dramatically changed the way he lives. "When I was first diagnosed, I viewed it as a curse. But it forced me to take control of my health," he says. Read on for details about Jackson's journey in his own words.

  • I thought I had a cold or the flu. I wasn’t feeling well and was perspiring all the time. We gave it the weekend to see if it would go away, but it didn’t. So my doctor ran a few tests and came back to tell me that I had type 2 diabetes. My Dad had it, but I thought this was a disease that happened to someone else—not me.
  • My doctor told me that, as a diabetic, I was two to four times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke. That was a shock, plus, I really had to learn what blood sugar was. I had no idea what it meant when they told me that my blood sugar was at almost 500! [Editor's note: A healthy blood glucose level is below 100, and anything over 125 signals diabetes.]
  • I met with my doctor and a nutritionist to learn about what I could eat. I’m from Louisiana, where food is everything. Even the carrots have a lot of salt, butter and sugar! I had a “food divorce” and learned to love steamed and raw veggies and fruits besides bananas and grapes, which were the only ones I used to eat because they were so sweet.
  • My family gives me support. You have to inspire yourself though. The only person that can save, control or help you is you.
  • This whole process has been about trial and error with food, exercise and trainers to find what works for me. Recently, I’ve been working with my good friend Harley Pasternak, who gives me a sensational workout in 30 minutes. He knows everyone is busy, but you know you have a half hour!
  • I don’t listen to music when I exercise, since that’s what I do 24/7. That would be like asking a lawyer to read depositions while working out. I don’t really listen to music at home either!
  • I got involved with Merck and Taking Diabetes to Heart, a great campaign to educate those with diabetes. Lots of people don’t know they have it, plus, since it’s a lifelong disease, you can never have too much information about how to manage it.

Now tell us: Now that Jackson helped Carey fill the second judge's seat, who else would you like to see join the Idol judging table?