Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are bothleaving American Idol after just one series on the Fox talent show.The announcement comes in the same month that original judge Randy Jackson left the panel, while the future of Keith Urban now looks increasingly uncertain.Rapper Minaj told her 16 million Twitter followers: "Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!" while Mariah's departure was also announced on Twitter.

Reports suggest Mariah Carey earned $18 million for her year on the show, while Minaj took home $12 million, though neither gelled. According to the Hollywood Reporter, show bosses were keen to replace Mariah with previous fan-favourite Jennifer Lopez midway through the twelfth season, but Carey's considerable legal team put the stoppers on the deal. 

In a joint statement with American Idol's production company, FremantleMedia, Fox said, "Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to American Idol and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season," adding that Mariah Carey was a "true global icon." Despite the nice goodbyes, it's no secret that Idol bosses will be glad to see the back of both stars, having suffered in the ratings over the past year. The show's ratings fell to its lowest point in 12 years this series, which was won by soul singer Candice Glover. 

Executives will no doubt be working overtime to get Lopez to return to the show, though whether she could be coaxed by remains to be seen. Over at The X-Factor, Simon Cowell has enlisted the judging skills of Kelly Rowland for the upcoming season, with Britney Spears leaving the show.

Nicki MinajNicki Minaj At The Billboard Awards 2013

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