I have learned that Mariah Carey is finalizing a deal to join Fox’s American Idol as a new judge. I hear Carey would command a salary of more than $17 million for next season, which would set a new record for talent on a reality series, eclipsing the paycheck of Idol‘s Jennifer Lopez.
Carey had been rumored as a potential new judge on the veteran Fox reality series, which is overhauling its panel coming off a season that saw ratings declines in a crowded marketplace and failed to land a best reality-competition Emmy nomination for the first time in the show’s history. Fox announced the departure of Steven Tyler, while fellow judge Lopez stated publicly that she would leave too.
Will Mariah bring back the glory of American Idol and finally boost the downhill ratings?