Media news sources say that Carey and the producers are very close to finalizing deal which would earn her $17 million a year which would make her the higest paid judge on the show ever.
Sources also say that that was the big sticking point for Carey who told producers that she would seriously comtemplate an offer to join the show only if she got a higher salary than previous Idol judge Jennfier Lopez who got $15 million a season.
Keeping in mind of course that also paying for her constant on call 24 hours a day entourage, travel, clothes, makeup, limos, expensive meals and whatever else, Fox is going to be paying a lot more than $17 million to get Carey.
For fans of Mary J. Blige, who was being talked as being a back up choice if the Carey deal fell though, you're out of luck. And even worse luck for Aretha Franklin, who lately has once again been publicly stating that she wants to be a judge on the show, but that's not going to happen.
UPDATE: Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced today (Monday) at a press conference that Mariah Carey was indeed joining American Idol next season. Carey herself called Reilly on his cell phone during the conference to confirm the deal.
She is reportedly getting more than the previously reported $17 million for next season. Whether she will be on Idol for just one season and who else will be joining her as judges was not discussed.