Mariah Carey Confirmed To Judge ‘American Idol’


First, it started as a rumor … then the rumor began to gain traction … today we learn officially that popstar Mariah Carey has signed on as a judge for the forthcoming season of American Idol. Fox revealed the news just moments ago at an event in Beverly Hills. According to sources, Mimi is set to make somewhere between $12 and $17 million to judge American Idol next season … putting her on par with the salary that Britney Spears is making to judge The X Factor. Click below to learn more about the deets of MC’s new job on AI.

Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez and now … Mariah Carey. Fox just made it official: Carey is the latest successful pop diva to join American Idol. The 42-year-old will join the judges table for season 12. As reported in this week’s issue of EW, Carey has been the leading contender to join the panel this summer, which has seen a flurry of celebrity names floated in the press as possible candidates. Her salary is expected to be somewhere north of $12 million — the sum paid Jennifer Lopez during her first year on the show — and possibly as high as $17 million. Previously, Simon Cowell was courting Carey as a mentor for X Factor’s second season, though it’s not clear if her Idol announcement precludes an appearance on Fox’s other show. “It’s the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told critics at their press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday. “It’s an artist many of these contestants have tried to emulate. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago. Not being the only game in town we need to keep things fresh.” The move comes on the heels of Steven Tyler exiting the hit singing competition, and Fox being unable to convince Lopez to sign on for a third round. Lopez was holding out for a raise beyond her $15 million second-year salary and took to the media to proclaim that she was almost certainly leaving the show. If there was a slight chance of Lopez staying before, it vanished once Fox signed Carey — Fox won’t pay for two high-priced female vocalists. “I think I can say it’s 100 percent that Jennifer won’t be back on the show,” Reilly said … Despite some reports to the contrary, veteran judge Randy Jackson (who, as it so happens, is Carey’s manager and was involved in her negotiations) is now expected to stay on board, though nothing has yet been announced. Either way, Fox is expected to now focus on its search for another male judge. One dark horse (and attractively low budget) candidate is former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert. Fox’s decision to shake up Idol was effectively made months ago. In recent years, changing Idol‘s panel has typically resulted in a ratings spike, at least at the start of the season. For this year’s 11th season, Fox decided to leave the panel unchanged from the previous year and the series suffered the largest ratings drop in the show’s history. Though the show’s audience was still huge, averaging 18 million viewers per week, ratings were down 23 percent.

And there you have it … American Idol is going for broke by betting on Mariah Carey’s star power. As I said before, IMHO, AI is a dead show … but the inclusion of Mariah gives it a much-needed jolt of possible new life. I’m really bummed to learn that Randy Jackson may stay on board … he was never a good judge, in my opinion. We’ll have to see who AI will select as the 3rd judge but now that Mimi is on board, people will likely be paying close attention. What do y’al think? Did YOU think AI would successfully get Mariah to sign on? Does her hiring make you more likely to watch the show?


  • Lacey

    Ugh, hate it. If I wanted to watch someone with their boobs out and drugged outta their mind, I would watch reruns with Paula Abdul. AI should just quit.

    • @Lacey — “If I wanted to watch someone with their boobs out and drugged outta their mind” What are you talking about?

  • Brent

    This will be the first time I’ve watched a season of AI since Paula Abdul left. Go Mariah! Can’t wait for her new music!
    On a side note, in response to the above comment, when has Mariah ever appeared to be “drugged out of her mind”? I’ve followed her career from the start so if I’ve missed something like that, I must be drugged too.

    • Syslak

      Just that one time ion MTV…

  • nicole

    adding Mimi isnt going to help. the shows done.

    im actually really suprised she joined the show. with her having new music coming out, i thought for sure she’d be getting ready to do some promo

  • Joanna

    I actually like that they finally got Mariah Carey. I orginally didn’t think the rumor held any weight particularly after Nick Cannon said American Idol needed to pay her way more than any judge has ever been paid to be on the show. IMO, I think she will be fantastic. She is an icon in the music industry and has a voice that is hard to come by these days so she knows a good artist when she sees one. The only thing I’m concerned about is how tough she will be. I think she will be harsh if the person is clearly unqualified to be a singer, but if the person is on the fence she may be overly nice so as not to hurt their feelings (a la J-Lo).

    In terms of Randy Jackson probably staying on the show I completely agree with that decision. He and Ryan are the last two original team members and the show would be even more removed from its roots than it already is if he left. The day Randy leaves is the day the show should be cancelled for good, contract or no contract.

  • Debho

    That’s a revolting amount of money to sit and give an opinion on something. Nobody is worth that much! I suppose we should give thanks that she’s giving her opinion on music and not fashion. That would be a huge disaster!

  • KLC

    I actually think that having Mariah on the panel and not J-Lo and Steven Tyler, will bring out the professionalism of Randy. The man is legit and knows his stuff, but his environment totally makes his personality. With the original 3, he was the inbetween. Where Simon was definitely tell you how it ’twas and Paula was wishy-washy, Randy was in the middle. When Steven was creepy and J-Lo was wishy washy, Randy was just crazy.

    I would like to see another PROVEN artist like Mariah to be on the panel. I’m sure she had that in her contract that she needed to be surrounded by greatness. I’m pretty sure she will keep it real. This will make me watch the show again.

    • @KLC — I dunno, “Yo, dawg” doesn’t seem like professional criticism to me ;)

  • Lisa

    I believe Mimi and Randy are BFF’s so maybe he convinced her. It will be good for her family I think. Mimi is an amazing talented singer (not so much performer IMHO) so she will be a good coach. I think the first person who commented was referring to Mariah seeming a little out of it sometimes. I have noticed that too but I think it’s just her personality. She isn’t really that exciting to watch or listen to, I don’t think. But I think as far as a singing coach/judge she will do fine. I see her as more of a mentor. She doesn’t seem like someone who will give a lot of criticism. Did anyone else hear Adam Lambert is joining the show??

    • @Lisa — “I believe Mimi and Randy are BFF’s so maybe he convinced her” Actually, I believe SHE convinced AI to keep him on :/

  • Krissy

    I like this idea.
    1.) Mariah will be great television. I think she has a funny sense of humor/entitlement that will be hilarious.

    2.) Mariah, unlike Jlo, has actual musical credibility. When it comes to telling singers how to sing better, really, who better than Mariah Carey?

    • Krissy, LMAO at sense of humor/entitlement!!!! You nailed it! And, for whatever reason, I so want one of those right now, lol!

    • Krissy

      I usually hate big egos, but for some reason Mariah’s charms me. Now that is some skill! ;)

  • corrine

    I’m not a mimi fan but she is a perfect choice for the job! I may just watch it!

  • Benny

    Such a horrible move. I’m starting to really hate Randy Jackson now. HE is ruining Mariah career. First he had Mariah do the Justin Bieber duet and now this. She needs a new manager stat and let randy back to what he knows is being her band leader not manager

  • jen

    I know that Mariah Carey is a big star, but I think adding her as the new judge is boring/predictable.

    XFactor definitely has the better judging panel now.

  • Liz

    Personally I think it doesn’t matter who they get as the new judge, AI is done!

  • Tracy

    I’m not a big fan of the show. I just get sick of all the singing shows. However, they finally got someone who can actually sing and has a good music ear. I wish Mimi all the luck and success in the world, and I pray she leaves the crazy home. Then again crazy is good TV….hee hee!

  • gpgirl

    so happy she’s on! at least she can help change the ai winner pattern? hopefully a diva like her will win this season!

  • Tate

    bad choice, predictable and boring. So tired of these shows that judge other peoples talents.

  • Nathan

    I really hope Adam Lambert doesn’t get it.

  • Amore

    Definitely over Idol; AI has jumped the shark for me. I’m sue Mariah will be entertaining but we can find the funniest moments online right, so why bother watching live?

  • Sam

    Anyone who’s watched Mariah on tv will know that she is absolutely funny !! I can’t wait to see her every week.

    But to make the panel complete, they should get Alan Carr. He brings out the best in people, especially our very own Mimi. Even though he’s not in the music biz but looking back at previous judges, I dont think it matters.

  • cutitout

    One season tops…if that. Remember that time when she was supposed to be Simon’s helper-thingy on that Flop-Factor and she didn’t show up? I think mariah used to have one of the best voices in the business so she is qualified but I’m just not sure she is ready for a weekly/daily grind and all that camera time. She is unintentionally hilarious because she is so very divalicious and messy, talking about herself in 3rd person and what not but she’s about to take this money and RUN.

    • @cutitout — “she’s about to take this money and RUN.” LOL

  • AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I can’t belieeeeevvvveeeeee
    wow this is so GREAT!!!!!!!
    Now I want to check it out and watch AI season. With Mimi on board surely will be great!!!!!!!! I’m sooooooo happy for it, She rocks and is an extraordinary singer, I’m sure her contribution to the show will be incredibly positive =))))))