Mariah Carey will be joining the next season of American Idol, as a judge, New York Daily News reports. The arrival of this news puts the final nail in the coffin of any expectations that Jennifer Lopez might remain on the show. There has been a great deal of speculation over whether or not Lopez would in fact stay, if she was presented with a fat enough pay-check. The Latino pop singer insisted that money wasn't the issue though and she has finally bowed out entirely, making way for a fellow diva to take her chair.

Kevin Reilly, the president of Fox Entertainment was reportedly grinning as he announced the news in front of television critics yesterday (July 23, 2012). He was not forthcoming about Carey's salary, though it is rumoured to be in the ballpark of $12 million. If that's accurate, it means that they have secured Mariah at the same price that they first booked Jennifer for the show. It's likely that this will increase, should Mariah enjoy her judging role and stay for another series. Reilly insisted that there were no hard feelings between the producers and Lopez, saying that they had had a "great experience" and "nobody was pushing anybody."

The show's creator and producer, Simon Fuller added to the announcement by saying "We are proud to have one of the world's greatest-ever female singers join our show. Mariah defines the word 'Idol' and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her." Mariah, who was on speaker-phone expressed her excitement at the new role by saying "I am so excited to be joining 'Idol.' I wanted to be there today and I wish I could've been there to tell you, but I think you know this all kind of just happened real quickly, so I can't wait to get started in a couple months."