Over the past few years it's seemed that every time a position opens up on the judging panels of either the 'X Factor' or 'American Idol', pop diva Mariah Carey is one of the names linked to taking over the post. Ultimately those reports have always come to nothing, but this time round, with 'American Idol' needing two judges to replace the outgoing Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez - and having seen the revitalising effect the show has had on the latter's career in particular - Carey suddenly seems to fit the part more than she might've previously. And it's looking like this time she might take it.

Deadline is reporting that the multi-octaved warbler is set to sign a deal worth a whopping $17 million with Fox to appear as a judge on the next season of 'Idol', with the show seeking a huge revamp following falling ratings and a failure to gain an Emmy nomination in the Best Reality-Show category for the first time in its history.

If Carey signs she'll set the record for the most paid to a judge to appear on a reality show, beating the $15 million Lopez was previously receiving, with Britney Spears rumoured to be on a similar amount over on 'X Factor'. The move could be just what the star needs; her last album 'Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel' sold only 500,000 copies and made only third spot in the US Album Charts in 2009 - only the fourth time in ten attempts that she's missed the top spot.