Singer Mariah Carey seen carrying a toy sheep and greeting waiting fans while leaving the Dorchester Hotel in London. (Source: PacificCoastNews.com) more pics »
Mariah Carey (Getty)
Fox announced at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour that the pop star has officially signed on to judge the show's upcoming 12th season.
“I am so excited to be joining Idol,” Carey said in a phone call to Fox head honcho Kevin Reilly after he shared the news. “I wanted to be there today and I wish I could have been there myself to tell you. I can’t wait to get started in a couple months.”
The media speculation surrounding Carey joining Idol had intensified over the weekend as numerous reports claimed that the singer was thisclose to inking the deal. There's no word on how much she will be paid for her first season, but Jennifer Lopez nabbed an impressive $12 million payday when she joined Idol, so Carey's salary is likely in the same ballpark.
Mariah Carey previously served as a guest mentor during Idol's seventh season, and was supposed to act as an advisor to Simon Cowell on Season 1 of The X Factor (Hurricane Irene prevented her from making the trip to Cowell's mansion in France).
Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler both announced their departures from Idol earlier this month. The fate of longtime judge Randy Jackson is also in question, although the addition of Carey could secure his spot on the panel (Jackson manages the pop star). As for the third spot, sources are reporting that Idol alum Adam Lambert is still very much in the running.
What do you think of Carey's addition to the American Idol family? She's certainly got the vocal chops and the star power to give accurate critiques, and we're guessing the pop starlet won't be overly concerned with protecting the contestants' fragile egos. At the very least, Carey's presence will deter wannabe divas from mangling her hits during the auditions. Or maybe not...
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