As of last week, there were rumors that Mariah Carey was close to a deal to join American Idol as a judge, filling the seat recently vacated by rocker Steven Tyler. Today comes the official confirmation from Fox. Just call her name and Mariah Carey will be there… for Season 12 of American Idol.
Fox sent word today that Carey would be joining the judges panel for the singing competition's twelfth season when the series returns January 2013. Taking that literally, it sounds like she'll arrive after the preliminary audition process has completed.
“As a singer, songwriter and producer, it’s going to be fun and rewarding to help find new talent and give back with AMERICAN IDOL,” said Mariah Carey. “I’m currently in the studio working on my new album and its first single, ‘Triumphant,’ which will be out early next month. I can’t wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon.”
On paper, Mariah Carey is a solid choice for an Idol judge. She has years of experience, plenty of success under her belt, she's a huge name in the industry and she has genuine talent as a singer and musician. It's also probably safe to say that a lot of Idol hopefuls have been inspired by her talent and music. In terms of modern solo artists, Carey is among the vocal elite. Whether or not she proves to be a good judge remains to be seen. We'll have to wait and see what happens with Mariah at the table.
Steven Tyler's exit as judge is official and from what's being reported, per Zap2It) based on what Fox President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly said to the Television Critics Association, it seems like there's little chance of Lopez returning to judge. "I think I can say it's 100% Jennifer won't be coming back to the show," he's quoted as saying. That sounds about as official as it probably gets (short of the official press release Fox may eventually issue). So we'll have to keep an ear out as to who might be coming in to take her spot.
Auditions for Season 12 of American Idol are happening this summer. In fact, Fox released some new information on additional ways people can try out for the show. That includes their "Small Town Bus Tour" and a "Nominate an Idol" program, which allows friends and family secretly nominated their talented (hopefully) loved ones. More information on that at AmericanIdol.com.