Mariah Carey Officially Joins American Idol

It’s official — Mariah Carey has been confirmed as a judge on “American Idol’s” Season 12.

“I am so excited to be judging ‘Idol,’” Mariah said through FOX boss Kevin Reilly’s speakerphone, expressing her regrets over not being able to be at the network’s portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills on Monday.

“I wanted to be there today and I wish I could have been there myself to tell you,” she added. “I can’t wait to get stated in a couple months.”

In a release issued by FOX on Monday, Mariah went on to say she is looking forward to helping find the next music superstars.

“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,’” she said in a statement released by FOX. “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.”

And the joy seems to be reciprocated on the network side.

“We are proud to have one of the world’s greatest-ever female singers join our show,” “Idol” creator and executive producer Simon Fuller said in the release. “Mariah defines the word ‘Idol’ and will inspire every singer that has the honor of performing in front of her.”

As far as the departing judges, Reilly also addressed the exits of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez from the show. He said he had a conversation with both of them and, “We have both decided it was a time for a change.”

Earlier in the day, “Idol” executive produce Nigel Lythgoe had prompted speculation that J.Lo might return to the panel referencing her recent comments that she was 99 percent sure she would not be back, and focusing on the one percent.

Reilly, however, shot down the possibility of Jennifer’s return.

“I think Nigel said 99 percent, I think I can say it’s 100 percent that Jennifer won’t be back to the show,” Reilly said.

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