Industry rumors have surrounded Mariah Carey and American Idol since the last time it was looking for a judge. With Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez gone, MTV reports Carey is negotiating a one-year, $17 million contract with Idol. That would top the $15 million per year Britney Spears got to join former Idol judge Simon Cowell on The X Factor.
Carey’s husband, Nick Cannon, is the host of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, and has enjoyed a career boost as a result. She also has a new record coming out in the fall, so the timing is perfect to publicize it. Cue singing hopefuls tearfully performing Carey’s songs and telling her what an inspiration she’s been to them.
Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul got the talent search through its first eight years. Since then, the show’s been burning through judges almost as fast it does contestants. Tyler and Lopez are definitely out, and Randy Jackson apparently has expressed a desire to move from judge to mentor. Idol’s 2012 final drew its lowest rating in years, so there could be more changes to come.