Mariah Carey has officially joined the judging panel of the US talent show American Idol. The R and B singer has reportedly signed a 18-million-dollar contract to appear on the show for one year.
“Mariah is getting paid 18 million dollars with a one-year option to do ‘Idol’, making her the highest paid judge on any music competition show,” an insider told Us Magazine.
Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly announced the five-time Grammy winner’s signing to a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Monday, and then put Carey on speaker phone to confirm the deal.
“I am so excited to be joining American Idol. This kind of all just happened really quickly,” Fox News quoted her as saying.
Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller also commented on Carey joining as judge for the show.
“We are proud to have one of the world’s greatest-ever female singers join our show.
“Mariah defines the word Idol and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her,” he added.
Earlier this month, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez said they were leaving American Idol after two years as judges.
Carey had been courted by Idol, and as one of music’s best-selling singers she could bring the star power it needs to compete with rivals like The X Factor, which recently added Britney Spears and Demi Lovato as judges.
Earlier Monday, veteran Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said there’s a slender possibility that Lopez might return.
His reasoning: Since she told Idol host Ryan Seacrest she was 99 percent sure she was leaving, that means there’s a 1 percent chance she won’t, Lythgoe said Monday.
He said he hoped that was the case, although Lythgoe also told a meeting of the Television Critics Association that he thought the show should be freshened each season with new judges.