Each time a celebrity on the judging panel at “American Idol” announces a departure, the rumours multiply and run faster than a rocket on escape velocity. After this past season two of the three judges announced a departure for a return to music.
Less than a month after singersand left the judging panel leaving only original judge remaining – but with some question as to his future – FOX and entertaiment chief Kevin Reilly announced that Grammy Award winning singer and new mom would fill one of the empty seats – Carey is managed by Randy Jackson. “I am so excited to be joining ‘American Idol’. As a singer, songwriter, and producer it’s going to be fun and rewarding to help find new talent and give back with ‘American Idol’. “I’m currently in the studio working on my new album and its first single, ‘Triumphant’, which will be out early next month. I can’t wait to channel my creative energy as a part of this show which is a massive global phenomenon,” said Carey.
Simon Fuller – Idol’s creator and executive producer - said, "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." Over the year’s Idol fans have seen contestants try to “copy” Carey in their performances.
“American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has stated that while he hoped Lopez would stay on the show, believes that the judges should be changed each year. On his dance show “So You Think You Can Dance” has used a mix format with Lythgoe heading the judging panel with Ballroom dance expert Mary Murphy and a guest judge most weeks in the third chair. The format offers performers and fans an opportunity to hear a variety of opinions on the performances. Lythgoe himself is currently negotiating a new contract to remain on Idol.
“American Idol” has seen it’s ratings drop over the past few seasons with season eleven being toppled from its number one spot in television ratings. As auditions for season 12 are underway, show producers are looking for ways to “bring back the glory” of season’s past.
There is not word on who will fill the remaining empty seat and the status of Randy Jackson’s role in the coming season is still unclear. There has been some speculation that while vacating a judging seat, Jackson would remain on the show as a mentor.