It’s official. FOX has signed Mariah Carey on for the 2013 season as one of the new judges to replace one of the seats left vacant by Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.
As one would guess, Carey is working on a new album and being on Idol for the season will give her fabulous exposure and free publicity, likely having her on stage throughout the season at some point or another to push her work. Carey gleefully made this statement about her upcoming judge’s role.
“I’m currently in the studio working on my new album and its first single, ‘Triumphant,’ which will be out early next month. I can’t wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show, which is a massive global phenomenon.”
Simon Fuller, one of the Idol execs, of course, patted himself on the back after Carey was signed up.
“We are proud to have one of the world’s greatest-ever female singers join our show,” he said, beaming.
If anyone should be beaming, it should be Carey. Sources have said that she’s now become the highest paid tv reality personality with a salary of $18 million for the season.
Reportedly, Simon Cowell had wanted Carey as a judge on his hit show, X Factor but, Carey’s pregnancy put the brakes on those plans. Could Cowell be jealous? Not likely. He’s doing just fine with having signed Demi Lovato and Britney Spears for his upcoming season.
By all accounts, Carey would be joining her manager, Randy Jackson at the judges’ table but, there’s still rumor swirling that Jackson may not be in line for his seat this coming season or that Idol may not want him there. Speculation has it that Jackson will return on contract as a mentor to contestants with Jimmy Iovine. Interesting concept and fitting as Jackson is part of old Idol and it seems that FOX and Idol execs are trying to estrange themselves a bit from the show’s old image.
While Idol execs and FOX are sighing out of relief that one chair is filled, Nigel Lythgoe is still hanging onto the hope that Jennifer Lopez’s tour will fail and she’ll come back, begging for her seat back. Who knows?
Normally, it would make sense that Idol can’t afford two big salaries. However, with the other talent shows crowding in and stealing audience from AI, it may be a make or break it year for the show that is now getting old amid the newcomers in the tv line-up of talent reality shows. If Idol loses more viewership, it could be that there won’t be another season beyond 2012. May as well blow the bank, go all out and try to ensure a place in the 2014 listings.
There’s a lot of questions left unanswered yet, not the least of which is, “who is judging the auditions that are currently going on while two of the three judge’s seats are still up in the air?”
Will Randy Jackson return to his judge’s seat or will he act as a mentor this season, needing his chair to be filled too or, was he instrumental in getting Carey to sign on and as part of getting her onboard, saved his position?
Can Carey, The Diva cut the mustard as a judge or will she be “unable to say no” as Simon Cowell has predicted she will be?
It may take the seasoned veteran and sole hang-out on the panel, Randy Jackson to steer the helm for Carey, making decisions for her if that were to be true.