Mariah Carey Is Your Next ‘American Idol’ Judge

Mariah Carey has officially joined the 12th season of American Idol. The 42-year-old diva has been rumored to take a spot on the fairly empty judges’ panel for some time now, and Fox made the official announcement today (July 23). Carey’s salary is reported to be at least $12 million, possibly as high as $17 million. That would make her the highest paid reality show judge on TV, besting Britney SpearsThe X Factor salary by $2 mill.

“It’s the biggest recording artist than any of these [singing competition] shows have ever had,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “It’s an artist many of these contestants have tried to emulate. [The deal] only concluded only hours ago. Not being the only game in town we need to keep things fresh.”

“Thank you! Yay! I’m so excited to be joining Idol,” said Carey via phone. “First of all, I wanted to be there today and I wish I could have been there today to tell you, but this just happened real quickly. I can’t wait to get started in a couple months. Everybody have a great TCA and I will see you in January!”

Mariah has previously appeared on American Idol as a performer and a mentor. During Season 7, the contestants performed songs from Carey’s songbook, with champ David Cook delivering a stripped down version of her 1996 single “Always Be My Baby.”

Does Judge Mimi make you want to watch the upcoming season of American Idol? If you doubt the entertainment value of hearing Mariah speak off the cuff, may we point you towards her acceptance speeches at the 2010 Palm Springs Film Festival and the 2010 People’s Choice Awards. Loopy, personable and totally popcorn-worthy. We can’t wait to see what she has to say every week.

[Via EW]

  • Fan4me

    UGHHHH American Idol has always been my favorite of these shows, but this season may change that. i like a few Mariah songs, but she is NOT CURRENT! I think X Factor will be better now since I’m a huge Demi and Britney fan, as are the rest of the core audience. no teens will REALLY remember Mariah in her prime. only a small amount of the core audience will actually look forward to Mariah the same way they are for Demi and Britney. I wanted someone who has current hits and in the teens to early 30s.

  • Luke

    Clearly the user above me doesn’t not know what he or she is talking about… With that said, I do feel that this is beneath Mariah

  • Supermariah

    Mariah’s going to be a great judge..and the1st person who commented should be shot right through her forehead for being dumb..

  • teammimi

    mariah is an actual singer unlike any of the other female judges that have ever been on these shows plus she really knows what shes talking about and is funny and makes great tv

  • Gary Manalus

    mariah is going to be the BEST JUDGE EVER!!!

  • $NAPP$

    I’m glad Mariah will be a judge on American Idol and take over Jennifer Lopez’s spot. I think she has what we’re looking for and she’s a true American Idol. She has talent and she has lots of songs so she knows exactly what’s needed. AI’s one of my favorite shows during primetime and I don’t like when it goes to commercials. This is why I’m excited the Hopper lets you skip commercials with the Auto Hop feature. I don’t have to manually fast forward through all those annoying commercials when I watch my primetime recordings. I hate passing the show, then having to skip back to get to the part after the commercial. One of my coworkers at Dish showed me how the Auto Hop works and how easy it is to skip commercials. This feature will always ask if you want to use it or not before you watch each recording. This will save some wear and tear on my remote with all the fast forwarding I do.