Kanye West, American Idol? Perhaps not the best fit you may think - but it looks as though it may well be happening. According to TMZ.com, the rapper - currently dating Kim Kardashian - is negotiating with the Fox show about becoming a judge.

Sources close to production tell the entertainment website that head honchos reached out to West about filling one of the open judging spots, and that he expressed a firm interest. One source close to the discussions said, "He's on the fence". Another stumbling block is money, with Kanye demanding at least as much as the $18 million being paid to Mariah Carey. It's been a bizarre week behind the scenes of the show, and you could say American Idol is in meltdown before it's even begun its new series. Reports had suggested Nicki Minaj had all but signed on the dotted line to become that third judge - something that made Mariah very angry indeed. According to TMZ.com, she hung up on a producer who alerted her to the fact that they had approached Minaj (probably assuming she would be the only female on the panel). USA Today's 'Idol' commentator Brian Mansfield told ABC News that Minaj would be perfect for the show, saying, "She could be really honest.She truly doesn't care what people think of her. After a panel that was nice all the time didn't work we need some people on the panel willing to shake things up. Nicki could either be a complete train wreck or a hit". However, it seems Mariah doesn't share his views, and somewhat bizarrely attempted to get her pal Lenny Kravitz the job this week, recommending him to show bosses on Twitter.

Names previously being floated around had included country stars Keith Urban and Brad Paisley - though it seems Fox executives may be looking towards rap to rescue the show's ailing ratings.