In the seventh season of Fox’s singing sensation American Idol, pop superstar Mariah Carey was a mentor. She had warm and caring advice for the contestants that took on her songs and it brought up some of the most stirring and emotional performances that Idol has ever produced, including a slowed-down version, with a plethora of stringed instruments, of “Always Be My Baby” by winner David Cook. When it was announced Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would not be back to create television magic with Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest, the world was holding their breath and on pins and needles to see who would be joining them.
The internet buzzed with rumors , letting people know either former Season 8 contestant Adam Lambert, No Doubt front woman Gwen Stefani, pop princess Katy Perry, or Black Eyed Pea Fergie were all interested. But in the end it was Carey and her five-octave vocal range that will take a seat as an American Idol judge.
As Gaysocialite’s Charles Winters reported, Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly confirmed the hire on the phone with Carey in front of television critics on Monday. No details were given out about the diva’s salary, though several multiple sources report $12 million for her inaugural season. This is the same amount J-Lo received in her first season and made $15 million on her second.
Reilly confirmed “100%” that Lopez was not returning to the show and said it was a “great experience” with her and Tyler, claiming “nobody was pushing anybody.” He also acknowledge falling ratings (down 20%) and said the reality competition is “still vital” and needs to “keep things fresh.”
Carey was put on speaker phone during the big reveal and told the TV critics the following:
“I am so excited to be joining ‘Idol.’ 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.”
Also über excited is executive producer Simon Fuller who praises Carey:
“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.”
Echoes Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell:
“Mariah Carey is the real deal. Not only is she one of the best-selling artists and performers on the planet and one of the world’s most gifted vocalists, she also is a successful songwriter, record producer and actress.”
The Daily News also reported that Simon Cowell originally wanted to Carey as a judge but she was pregnant with twins.
For fans of the divas, it will be interesting whether or not fans choose to tune into Carey, Christina Aguliera on NBC’s The Voice or Britney Spears and Demi Lovato on Fox’s The X Factor. Fox seems to have the edge with three against one. Only time will tell!
One person Mariah Carey will not be in competition with will be her husband Nick Cannon. His summer hosting gig of NBC’s America’s Got Talent will be over when American Idol premieres in January.
It is a breath of fresh air that American Idol has finally chose a woman who can sing the phone book. Paula Abdul was great for her time but like Jennifer Lopez, her voice was masked by dance beats. Mariah Carey is the real deal and will bring what the show was lacking for a few seasons without Simon Cowell: honesty. The show really jumped the shark when it hosted daytime TV darling Ellen Degeneres as a judge. She had no musical experience whatsoever so how could she be qualified. Then Jennifer Lopez stepped in and in two seasons really did not say one harsh comment. I miss those brazen, openly wound shattering yet truthful comments. I hope Mariah Carey will shell them out every once in a while for I feel it helps the contestants. Constructive criticism not sugar coating is what the contestants need for it is tough in the recording industry. To rise to the top you have to be the best and American Idol has just hired one of them. It will be interesting to see what will happen when one of the singers chooses a Carey song. I am sure the camera will pan right on her face for reaction. That is what makes exciting television!
What do you think about Mariah as a judge? Are you excited? Do you think it will save the show or has Idol ran its course? Let us know in the comments!