Mariah Carey and the Fox network confirmed on Monday that the singer will be taking over as one of the judges on American Idol. Carey helps to replace some of the star power lost when Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler both walked away from the program. Lopez reportedly exited the show over money, and now TheWrap.com is reporting that Carey will get the $17 million per season that J. Lo supposedly demanded. The report has not been confirmed, but a source close to the negotiations said the salary makes Carey the highest-paid judge on a television competition program, as that sum would put her above the reported $15 million Britney Spears is making for her role on SimonCowell's The X Factor.
On Monday, Carey called in to the Television Critics Association summer press tour gathering for Fox shows and confirmed the news that was announced moments earlier by Fox President Kevin Reilly. "I am so excited to be joining Idol. I can't wait to get started," Carey said, according to TV Guide.
"It's the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had," Reilly told critics. "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."
Fox is expected to announce the rest of the judging panel in the next few weeks. It is unclear what role RandyJackson will have on the show, since he may stay on as a judge or he may move over to a mentor role. Reilly added that Jackson was "very instrumental" in bringing Carey to the show, since he also serves as her manager.