Rumors about her becoming a singing show judge date back several years, involving programs on every major network. But now, the rumor has become reality: Mariah Carey is joining American Idol.
The 42-year-old diva, the record holder for most #1 singles by a solo artist, and an obvious inspiration to numerous Idol wannabes over the years, agreed to terms over the weekend. There was an apparent rush to get the deal finished, so that Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly could make the announcement at the network’s presentation at its Television Critics Association panel on Monday.
Reilly called Carey “the biggest recording artist that any of these shows have ever had” prior to introducing the star on the other end of the phone lines; she then had a few brief remarks herself. In a simultaneous statement from Fox, Carey said “I can’t wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon.”
Fox had no news about the rest of the Idol panel, though Reilly did say that Jennifer Lopez was definitely out, implying that Carey is effectively her replacement (there has never been a three-judge panel on the show that wasn’t two men and one woman). However, while the status of Randy Jackson had been believed to be on shakier-than-ever ground, Carey coming on board could solidify his position on the panel, as the two are good friends and have worked together in the studio. Reilly specifically credited Jackson, who began managing Carey recently, with helping to persuade her.
Not surprisingly, there has been no official word on contract terms, though we can assume the figure is somewhere between the reported $15 million Britney Spears is getting for The X Factor, and the “twice what J. Lo is making” that Carey’s husband Nick Cannon semi-seriously suggested would be a fair amount.
Does Mariah joining Idol renew your interest in the show? Or make you dread next season?