Mariah Carey is officially an American Idol judge! A little over a week after Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler separately announced their departures from the show, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly has confirmed Carey finalized a deal with Idol bosses several hours ago.
“We do, in fact, have one judge whose deal closed very, very recently. It’s an artist that many contestants have tried to emulate, have tried to have sung the songs, have tried to hit the notes and because it really was concluded only hours ago, our judge couldn’t be with us,” Reilly said at the Television Critics Association summer tour Monday.
Carey spoke via speaker phone. “I am so excited to be joining Idol. First of all, I wanted to be there today and I wish I could’ve been there to tell you, but I think you know this all kind of just happened real quickly, so I can’t wait to get started in a couple months,” she said.
Although Idol bosses have not announced who will replace Steven Tyler, Miley Cyrus and Adam Lambert are rumored to be favorites. Meanwhile, the fate of the last remaining original judge, Randy Jackson, remains unknown. Insiders claim Jackson may leave the panel because producers want to “freshen everything up now.” Jackson will likely move into a “mentoring role,” a source says.