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Mariah Carey joins ‘American Idol’ as a judge

Mariah Carey is joining "Idol" as a judge season 12.

Mariah Carey is joining "Idol" as a judge season 12.

Mariah as a judge on "Idol"

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Fox has confirmed that Mariah Carey will be joining “American Idol” as a judge season 12.

“I am so excited to be joining ‘Idol,’” Carey said via phone today at Fox’s session at the Television Critics Association. “I wanted to be there today and I wish I could have been there myself to tell you. I can’t wait to get started in a couple months.”

I tried (and failed) to get anything out of Randy Jackson about the rumors this morning when he came into town. (He’s her manager so naturally, he knew what was going on but kept his game face on. Kevin Reilly, president of Fox television, said Jackson was instrumental in sealing the deal with Carey.)

Carey is a major A-list player who was considered for “X Factor” last season.  She effectively replaces Jennifer Lopez.

News reports in EW.com say she will be paid anywhere from $12 million to $17 million for the gig.

I have no idea if she’d make an effective judge though she is from Brooklyn and hopefully can bring a tart tongue to the stage. She did mentor on “Idol’ season seven but I don’t recall anything notable about it. She was supposed to mentor last year on “X Factor” but flight issues derailed that. She was also rumored to join “X Factor.” Surely, Simon Cowell is bitter.

Need a refesher from her visit on “Idol” season 7? I do!

Here is Mariah mentoring David Archuleta:

And Carly Smithson and Syesha Mercado:

Here she is with Brooke White and Kristy Lee Cook:

And don’t forget David Cook’s effort to change up “Always Be My Baby,” befuddling Mariah a bit at first:

This is Mariah talking about Jason Castro:

TMZ is already trying to create some controversy by noting that insiders found her to be a diva during her “Idol” visit four years ago. Shocking!

With 18 No. 1 hits, she is one of the biggest female artists of the past two decades, with a bulk of her hits coming in the 1990s, including “Vision of Love,” “Dreamlover” and “Always Be My Baby.”  Her vocal range is incredible, as anyone who has heard her on the radio. (Paula Abdul and Lopez couldn’t compete on that front.) She recently had twins with her husband Nick Cannon. She is working on an album right now (with Jackson) and a single is set to be released next month.

There are still two other openings on the judges’ panel since Steven Tyler has left and Jackson’s status is up in the air.

In the Fox press release, officials seemed to be trying to top each other with effusive praise for Carey. A typical statement:

“She has a deep knowledge of music and a career insight that will make her a really amazing asset to our judges’ table and to our contestants. It’s the dream of almost everyone who auditions for IDOL to sing like Mariah and we couldn’t be happier to have her be part of the show.” – Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

According to the database whatnottosing, “Idol” contestants have sung Mariah songs 19 times over 11 seasons. Most common song sung: “Without You” four times. Highest rated song: the version of “Without You” by Kelly Clarkson, with an 82 out of 100. Worst: top 20 contestant from season five Heather Cox rated just a 14 out of 100 with “Hero.”

- In other “Idol” news, the show is going wider for talent, starting a 10-city “small town’ tour and soliciting on-line video submissions, including those by friends and family (possibly unbeknown to the contestant.) In most cities this season, attendance for ‘Idol” has been down, though Oklahoma City recently hit a season 12 high of about 10,000 singers wanting to audition.

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

156 comments Add your comment

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
3:16 pm

I’m too mature to yell FIRST, so I’ll just whisper f i r s t!

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

To compensate for Mariah’s lack of judging, may I suggest ANY of the regulars here, including Rodney?

DanJ

July 23rd, 2012
3:26 pm

At least she can sing! That’sn upgrade over J-Lo.

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
3:26 pm

You know, I should have thought of Mariah Carey. She will fit.

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

I think she will do fine. She recognizes tone, pitchiness, nerves, etc. I think she can add some value. Well, I hope so. I also hope she leaves some of her Divaness at home.

skeeter

July 23rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Awww….let the critics began

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
3:30 pm

I also like the fact that she recognized recording a song when her voice was the most raspy (early, early morning) was the way to go to ensure a hit. And that she did with “One Sweet Day.”

12QWW56666666

July 23rd, 2012
3:34 pm

Enter your comments here

Colonel Truett Sanders

July 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

Will we be able to see that delicious J-Lo Booty?

Jay

July 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

Her being on Idol is just another reason not to watch…The Voice is much better…

Pitchy

July 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

Come on, let’s give her a chance.

Seems like all new judges are met with much negativity that positivity. Howard Stern wasn’t a good fit for AGT. Many love him now. STyler was a breath of fresh air for AI. Now look at him (lol). That man reeked pervert!!!! No sense sitting her tearing a judge down that we haven’t even heard “judge.”

Colonel Truett Sanders

July 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

J-LO-esque Booty (of Mariah’s), I mean…

Harriett

July 23rd, 2012
3:38 pm

I am ok with this. Let’s see what she can bring to the table. So much for Nick Cannon’s posturing and declaring Idol can’t afford his wife. And, it is brinksmanship, as well, since it was no secret Simon wanted her on XF.

Haven’t been able to shake loose much today, but trying to keep up the reading of comments.

Rickster

July 23rd, 2012
3:49 pm

Initially, Mariah’s presence is neither a reason for me to – or not – watch the show.

Only time will tell if I watch with my fingers over the “mute” and “FF” buttons. :-)

MoreOrLess

July 23rd, 2012
3:50 pm

I must have missed it, did they have Senate hearings? The article says she’s been confirmed.

Deirdre

July 23rd, 2012
3:57 pm

One down, one more to go…maybe. This is a direct slam to Simon who was trying to move heaven and earth to get Mariah to join X-Factor. I think this may be Randy Jackson’s doing. He is her manager, after all.

Rock The Mike

July 23rd, 2012
3:58 pm

Enter your comments here

Harriett

July 23rd, 2012
3:59 pm

Brinksmanship, D! And Idol won.

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
4:00 pm

Will Randy still drop her name from time to time? Because we all love that.

Led

July 23rd, 2012
4:03 pm

Let Robert Plant & Jimmy Page be the other judges! Matter of fact go ahead and boot off Mariah and put John Paul Jones in her spot.
Then make all the contestants sing Zeppelin songs.

DaDa

July 23rd, 2012
4:06 pm

Mariah, you will do find. It’s amazing how people are so quick to judge and ridicule a person without giving them a chance. If you don’t want Mariah, who do you want?

Led

July 23rd, 2012
4:07 pm

“If you don’t want Mariah, who do you want?”

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones!

Eric

July 23rd, 2012
4:08 pm

We still have yet to find out if Randy is returning for season 12. Other than Mariah joining Idol… we still have yet to find out who else will be joining. Whether it be an iconic producer, like Clive Davis or Quincy Jones… or an iconic singer, like Elton John or Aretha Franklin. Don’t know if Idol may be considering yet another attempt at a 4-judge format… or possibly a 5-judge format.

Harriett

July 23rd, 2012
4:08 pm

Oh, my. Well, time to go anyway. TTFN.

Rock The Mike

July 23rd, 2012
4:09 pm

Mariah might as well take the money and run……
American Idol has effectively run it’s course as it has fallen steadily in the ratings over the last few years even if the network doesnt want to admit it.
It’s pretty much free money for Mariah as she doesnt have to do a grueling tour plus American Idol will be free world wide marketing for her next forthcoming cd’s, she will then leave and go on tour and make a killing-

Woodpappy

July 23rd, 2012
4:09 pm

There you go IDOL…..That’s the way it should be done. Sorry Simon.

DanJ

July 23rd, 2012
4:12 pm

Deirdre, I’m sure Simon is upset. It will be interesting what he has to say. It was a nice pick-up at least from a PR standpoint. There’s no doubt in my mind that Randy will be back now!

DaveM

July 23rd, 2012
4:15 pm

We needed another choice….Who Cares!!!!!!!!!This TV garbage has got to stop..People are smarter than this!!!

Rickster

July 23rd, 2012
4:16 pm

Which would you rather have? Randy – who repeatedly tells us he worked with Mariah? Or Mariah?? :-)

DaveM

July 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

NO this is not a duplicate…THIS IS THE FIRST TIME AND THE LAST I WILL SUBMIT ANYTHING ON THIS!!

Vast Wastrel

July 23rd, 2012
4:20 pm

JT stole my line. Didn’t know he is her manager though. Now 10-15% of her contract money will be his too.

Yep, Idol has fallen steadily over the last few years from #1 to #1 to #1 to #1 etc., to #2.

Mercedes S.

July 23rd, 2012
4:23 pm

Please clarify 4:18, Dave!

Vast Wastrel

July 23rd, 2012
4:24 pm

Chill Dave, have a beer or possibly a Xanex.

G

July 23rd, 2012
4:27 pm

I’m with DanJ’s earlier comment…….”At least she can sing”. She brings not only talent, but the personality, looks, and diva that it takes to be an “Idol”. A lot of folks on this blog press the issue that Idol is more than just talent. Well, Mariah probably epitomizes that statement. Only difference is………..her success is grounded by her talent.

Alex

July 23rd, 2012
4:29 pm

Meh. So the show is still going to be about the judges.

Seth T

July 23rd, 2012
4:30 pm

Whether Mariah is very good or average in her role as Judge — it’s simply switching form the Lopez/Tyler show, to the Mariah Carey show.

Add a couple less expensive names that will contract for just a percentage of what they are paying Mariah, (17 million?), and Idol 2.0 takes shape. Mariah will release her new album during the Idol season most likely, will be featured and written about in all the magazines and music news reports, just like Jennifer was. It’s again more about finding the next celebrity that might sell tickets via the t.v. remote, than finding the next “American Idol”.

While I agree there was some good talent last year, there were also some contestants pushed into the top 24 and then top 13, that were obvious fill and set-to-fails, that fell way short of the potential the show had. And that was because of the show being more about the Judges quirks, tears, antics and favoritisms – than in producing a real competition among the best from tens of thousands.

Randy neither draws nor drives-away a t.v. audience at this point, so is more of a neutral force in ratings.

With Mariah signed, many of the other names speculated upon, will be out-of-consideration. You can name them as one thinks about it.

Alex

July 23rd, 2012
4:31 pm

Can we now, finally, prohibit the contestants from singing Mariah songs?

G

July 23rd, 2012
4:32 pm

Another thing………people criticize the othe shows for being too much about the judges. Based on the money, Idol all about the judges and the host too.

I like Mariah, but I think she’s really going to rub people the wrong way. Because of her strong personality, I can see her vocally “slapping the wrist” of many contestants that come up short in their performances. She will not only tell you where you went wrong, she will SHOW you by singing it the right way. Boy…….can’t wait to see her work over the WGWG contestants. LOL!!!

Rock The Mike

July 23rd, 2012
4:34 pm

Randy will be the last one in the American Idol studio when they turn the lights out for he is done at that point.
American Idol is the only thing keeping Randy relevant and thats not saying much-
After Idol ends, (hopefully soon), Randy will fade away into oblivion instead of our memories-

Vast Wastrel

July 23rd, 2012
4:36 pm

I’m fine with a diva that can actually sing over one who can’t as well G but remains to be seen if she can be a critic. Sometimes artists find it hard to give negative criticism of others and the best example of the other side is that Ted Williams couldn’t coach hitting because it came naturally to him.

Sam-A

July 23rd, 2012
4:39 pm

DaveM: This blog is just too demeaning and way beneath you, so please feel free to go and find yourself someplace else!

G

July 23rd, 2012
4:43 pm

@VW. Yeah, that makes sense. As great as Magic and Michael were on the court, they probably couldn’t coach little league. We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m ready for her.

Seth T

July 23rd, 2012
4:52 pm

Behind the scenes, Mariah will now have some influence upon who else is signed as Judge. They won’t sign anyone she might have issues in working with, so if one checks-out her inner-circle of producers, label, husbands inner circle, Fox network connections, etc. there may be some clues.

If, just as a spoofy for instance, they were going to get Howie Mandell, and she didn’t want to work with him, Howie would be toast.

Vast Wastrel

July 23rd, 2012
4:52 pm

If they really wanted the cattle call auditions to fill back up and fire up the competition they would pay the top 10 kids Mariah/Seacrest money on a graduated scale with say, 5 mil to the winner. That is significantly more than most will ever make from the music biz. Now that would be what I would call Idol 2.0.

On the last thread regarding Randy, while I’m sure he was in great demand as a session player I seriously doubt he saw 7 figures in a single year until Idol. As the cajuns are fond to say, “ya’ gotta’ dance wid da one what brung ya’”.

bknsty14

July 23rd, 2012
5:05 pm

In the very first mentor video with David A. one of the first things out of her mouth is that she feels very weird judging people. Should be interesting. I for one have never watched the show for the judges, however, last season they just got so bad they couldn’t be ignored. I watch for the singing talent (and sometimes the lack thereof). I also liked Kara, as some people were saying over the weekend. Just don’t be boring and repetitive like ST and over the top with your rooting like randy or JLo with her little boy crushes. Blend in and let us enjoy the singing.

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

Instead of “beautiful”, we’re going to get “butterflies”.

JTesla

July 23rd, 2012
5:31 pm

I would like to take this moment to think Rodney for posting a picture of Mariah from 20 years ago. ;)

Dick Lark

July 23rd, 2012
5:59 pm

Bleh. It was sickening how last year’s three judges constantly repeated each other’s sentiments, rarely disagreeing. And Randy is Mariah’s manager? There’ll probably be even less dissent among the judges now as a result. If they choose another spaced-out rocker to replace Tyler, instead of transferring Jimmy Iovine to the judges’ table, get ready for more of the same.

Deirdre

July 23rd, 2012
6:10 pm

Well, it looks like all 3 of the judges will be replaced. A quote from Kevin Reilly, one of Fox Entertainment’s bigwigs:

Additional judges are expected to be announced shortly, with Reilly noting that in a nod to the first season of Idol, they could be fresh faces. “There are some ‘nobodys’ in the mix, there are some people who are not a household name,” he said, citing Jimmy Iovine who wasn’t a household name when he boarded the series.

Deirdre

July 23rd, 2012
6:12 pm

Reilly also suggests that Idol will probably bring in new judges every year. At 12 years old, he cites the need for a fresh approach and the possibility of a revolving judges’ panel.