Mariah Carey Confirmed as American Idol Judge

All we want for 'Idol' is you

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Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP

Mariah Carey poses before a press conference, during the Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco.

It’s not just a “Fantasy.” Listen up, “Honey.” This is what happens “When You Believe.”

But seriously, folks. Meet your next American Idol judge, Mariah Carey. After the domino-like departures of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, and the continuing uncertainty that is Randy Jackson, Carey has signed up to fill the actual-singer slot behind the judge’s table. She’s certainly got the diva bona fides to back up her critiques: five Grammy Awards and 200 million records sold.

(MORESteven Tyler Leaves American Idol. Could J-Lo Be Next?)

But the announcement, made by Fox to the Television Critics Association today, perhaps bodes ill for future consistency on the long-running singing competition:

“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.”

Both Tyler and Lopez claimed their busy personal career schedules as the reason they had to leave the show. Appearances on Idol are a great way to promote a single, but when there’s a whole album to work on, it seems possible that Carey may end up dishing out the same lines as her predecessors did. And maybe that’s the point: producer Nigel Lythgoe told a Television Critics Association panel today that he hopes that judges will change every year, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

(MOREJennifer Lopez Confirms She, Too, Is Leaving American Idol)

Deadline reports that Carey will earn $17 million for the gig ($5 million more than Lopez did). The next season of Idol starts in January.