BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Mariah Carey says she can't wait to get started in the fall as the newest judge on "American Idol." Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly calls Carey "the biggest recording artist that any of these talent shows has ever had." According to one person familiar with the deal, Carey will get just under $18 million for the one-year contract, with a renewal option. The exit of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez left only original judge Randy Jackson and started a guessing game about potential replacements -- with Carey at the top of the list. Fox has to be hoping that her star power will help boost lagging viewership.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Even though Maria Carey is on board, "American Idol" still needs to fill at least one seat at the judges' table -- and maybe two. There had been persistent talk that Randy Jackson -- who has been with Idol at the start -- may not be back as a judge next season. But there's a chance that might change, now that Carey is on the show. Jackson and Carey are longtime friends -- and Jackson serves as Carey's co-manager. Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly says Jackson was "very instrumental" in getting Carey signed. And while Reilly wouldn't talk about anyone else on the show, it would appear Fox would be ungrateful to Jackson if they dumped him after he helped get Carey on the show.
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