"American Idol" has nabbed Mariah Carey as a new judge for its twelfth season. Dropping the big news was none other than Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly. "It's the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had," he said at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Monday, July 23.
"It's an artist many contestants have tried to emulate, tried to hit the songs, hit the notes. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago," Reilly added. He went on revealing that Randy Jackson, who is Carey's co-manager, was "instrumental" in making the deal sealed.
Sharing about her excitement to begin her judging duty, the wife of Nick Cannon said via a phone call to Reilly, "I am so excited to be joining Idol. 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 "My All" songstress has also taken to Twitter to inform fans about her involvement on "Idol". "It's gonna be so much fun working on American Idol. As a singer-songwriter, I'm excited to help find and nurture new talent. LYM! - MC," she wrote.
Words were, she pocketed $18 million from her one-year deal with the singing competition, more than the amount received by former "Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez, "The Voice" mentor Christina Aguilera, and "The X Factor (US)" judge Britney Spears. "Mariah is getting paid $18 million with a one-year option to do Idol, making her the highest paid judge on any music competition show," a so-called insider told Us Weekly.
Simon Cowell, who once reportedly wanted to have Carey on the U.S. version of "The X Factor", has commented on what kind of judge she would be. "I think she's going to find it difficult to say 'no' [to contestants]," he said via satellite from Miami during "The X Factor (US)" panel at TCA. "She's sweet. I think she's going to be great."
The shakeup in the judging panel is not the only change to be seen in the upcoming season of "Idol". It was recently announced that the show would open three new ways to audition, which were "American Idol Small Town Audition Bus Tour", "Nominate An Idol" program and online auditions.