Mariah Carey is back to business, and officially on board to judge American Idol‘s twelve season. Today Fox president Kevin Reilly confirmed the good news before dialing Mariah up on her cell phone to tell the star himself. “I’m so excited to be joining Idol,” she gushed, thrilled no doubt by the opportunity to put her industry experience to work, as well as the reported $12 million-plus salary she will be earning.
There has been much debate as to who could possibly fill the seats left open by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler‘s exit. Not only does that someone have to be worthy of brassy Idol judges past, he or she will also have to stand their own against The X Factor‘s Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on The Voice. Mariah and her five-octave vocal range should do just the trick. We only worry that, as it did for Lopez, who left “to get back to doing the other things that I do that I’ve put kind of on hold because I love Idol so much,” judging will slow down her recently announced return to music. Otherwise, we’re thrilled to have a diva of her caliber back in the spotlight on the regular.
And our apologies to Aretha Franklin, who was hoping to earn a seat — the diva quotient for this season has likely been reached. However, the scramble is not over yet, and as for the others whose names have been bantered about — like Idol‘s own Adam Lambert — Tyler’s and possibly Randy Jackson‘s seats still remain to be filled.