After some media speculation and much fan salivation, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that America's No. 1 Diva is joining America's No. 1 reality series as a judge. Yep, Mariah Carey is stepping into the glittery high heels vacated by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler on American Idol to sift and winnow through the talent pool on the show's upcoming 12th season.
Although rumor had it that Carey had been courted to join Simon Cowell's The X Factor for its second season, Cowell himself denied it this February, telling Extra, "You can't expect someone who has just had two kids [and] has a record career to make the kind of commitment we would need on this show." That was just five months ago, but apparently Mimi thinks she'll be able to emancipate herself from motherhood often enough to be an effective judge of talent on Cowell's reality show alma mater.
Deadline Hollywood was reporting Carey would pull in over $17 million for one season, but EW estimates her first-year salary in the $12 million range. An unnamed source told People that J.Lo raked in $20 million for her second season on Idol, but that's another unconfirmed figure. The point being: They're making somewhere between "more than we'll make in a lifetime" and "the budget of a small country."
Would the presence of Ms. Mariah on Idol make you tune in? Do you think she'll be better than Christina Aguilera on The Voice or Britney Spears yet-to-air gig on The X Factor? My instinct says "yes," but what do you think?