It's official; Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj won't return as judges for the next season of "American Idol". Both superstars confirmed the long-running speculation via Twitter, with Mariah retweeting a post by her longtime PR firm PMK-BNC which read, "W/ global success of "#Beautiful" (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol."
Her representative said a "jam-packed" schedule was a reason behind the "Triumphant (Get 'Em)" singer's departure from the singing competition show. The rep further pointed out "putting the finishing touches on her much anticipated forthcoming album, headlining the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular and appearing in Lee Daniel's 'The Butler', opening in August" as the things already lined-up in the R&B diva's schedule.
A few hours later, Nicki wrote on her Twitter account, "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!"
Responding to the announcement, FOX and FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment released a joint statement. "Mariah Carey is a true global icon - one of the most accomplished artists on the planet - and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the American Idol contestants this season," they said. "We know she will remain an inspiration to Idol hopefuls for many seasons to come."
As for the "Pound the Alarm" hitmaker, the "Idol" production partners stated, "Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to American Idol and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best."
Randy Jackson had earlier announced that he quit the show at the end of the twelfth season. Keith Urban, meanwhile, recently said, "I have no official information of anything" regarding his fate on the veteran reality series.
Mariah and Nicki's exit announcement come on heels of rumors that FOX would change the entire judge line-up of "Idol" for the next season. Jennifer Hudson was then reported to have signed up to take one of the seats, while Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken are also linked to the gig.