We can call it OFFICIAL indeed. After days of speculations and drama, Mariah Carey has officially signed as the newest judge of the singing juggernaut American Idol. Fox Broadcasting Company President of Entertainment Kevin Reilly made the big announcement at the Television Critics Association press panel on Monday (July 23).
“We do in fact have one judge whose deal closed very, very recently,” said FOX Entertainment Chief, Kevin Reilly. “I think it’s the biggest recording artist that any of these shows have ever had. It’s an artist that many contestants have tried to emulate, have tried to have sung the songs, have tried to have hit the notes and because it really was concluded only hours ago, our new judge cannot be with us.”
Then Reilly introduced Mariah Carey to the press via speaker phone,
“I am so excited to be joining Idol. I wanted to be there today and I wish I could have been there myself to tell you. I can’t wait to get started in a couple months.”
Reilly could not confirm any other judges, though he did confirm that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are officially out.
“I think I can confirm that it’s 100 percent that Jennifer will not be back with the show,” he said, adding that the process of letting Tyler and Lopez go was “transparent” and “mutual.”“We had a great experience with both of them; creatively we were all happy. But we decided it was time for a change.”
As for Randy Jackson, who is also Mariah Carey’s mentor, Reilly could not confirm anything, but he said that Jackson was a factor of the Carey deal.
“Randy was very instrumental in doing this deal,” says Reilly.
And on the double-digit decrease of Idol’s rating, Reilly conceded but remained optimistic.
“Although the show is as vital as ever, our ratings were down,” conceded Reilly. “Not being the only game in town now, we needed to keep things fresh.”
Moreover, Reilly told the press that Mariah Carey was not necessarily a replacement for the exiting Jennifer Lopez.
“It was never the goal to replace her [Jennifer Lopez]. I think they’re very different personalities. Once Jennifer declared that she in fact was comfortable moving on, we made the decision: You can call it a replacement, we never went in to say, ‘Who’s going to be the Jennifer replacement,’ ” he said, adding that there was “a scenario where maybe [Lopez] would have stayed.”
Two other seats at the judges’ table are still vacant and Reilly is yet to announce who will fill in. Additional judges are expected to be announced soon, and we could see some fresh faces like when Jimmy Iovine was introduced two seasons back, that he was relatively unknown to the public eye.
“There are some ‘nobodys’ in the mix, there are some people who are not a household name,”
So Mariah Carey is officially in. This could be the end of the drama and speculations. It could be very interesting seeing her on the judging panel. And I am pretty excited who will be the other judges completing the panel. Let’s just wait and see. One down, two (or more) to go. And how about Nigel Lythgoe? He seemed out of the loop. Based on his tweets I think he does not know what is going on!
Source: The Hollywood Reporter