And then there were two. Mariah Carey confirmed today that she is leaving American Idol, joining original Idol judge Randy Jackson. “W/ global success of #Beautiful (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol,” said a tweet Carey retweeted from her publicist PMK BNC. The exit by the multi-platinum singer after just one season on the judges’ panel doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Hubby Nick Cannon essentially said she would be leaving the veteran Fox singing competition series back in May because of the on- and off-screen drama with fellow rookie Nicki Minaj. Also, with the once dominant Idol seeing double-digit ratings declines and an all-time finale low this year, change seemed to be in the air on the show going into a 13th season. There’s still no official word yet whether Minaj and fellow freshman Keith Urban also will depart. (UPDATE: Minaj is now gone too). Jackson announced earlier this month he was leaving.
As for Carey, Fox and producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment said today: “Mariah Carey is a true global icon — one of the most accomplished artists on the planet — and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the … Read More »
Obviously the winner of American Idol‘s 12th season was going to be a woman since this is the first time in many seasons that the two finalists are female. Other than that, I don’t give a shit who takes the prize because, seriously, are these victors (who always sound like cats being strangled) ever heard from again? Not really, except maybe Kelly Clarkson or even Carrie Underwood. This season was memorable only because of the bickering between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, and the lousy ratings down about 25% compared to last season. That said, do not read further if you want to be surprised… SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!Read More »
UPDATE(new Jennifer Lopez details below): American Idol’sMariah Carey is one unhappy diva because of the drama between her and fellow judge Nicki Minaj, according to Carey’s husband Nick Cannon. “She didn’t sign up for that,” he said today to LA’s KTLA-TV morning show host Sam Rubin (video below). On air, Cannon accused “someone behind the scenes perpetuating” the conflict. Once the camera was off, Cannon blamed Fox Alternative Entertainment chief Mike Darnell for bringing Minaj onto the show. “No one thought it was a good idea then and no one thinks it is a good idea now,” Cannon said. (See related Falling ‘Idol’ Fuels New Mariah-Minaj Feud.)
Meanwhile Deadline has learned new details about Idol and Jennifer Lopez. The singer will use Season 12′s May 16th finale to debut her new single Live It Up from her 8th album. It is being released through producer RedOne’s 2101 label that is distributed by Capitol Music which signed her to a big new record deal. Also Fox is desperate to bring back Jennifer Lopez to the show next year after its feeble attempt to replace Mariah with J-Lo on Idol didn’t go anywhere. An insider tells Deadline’s Nikki Finke about Lopez: ”Fox is chasing her. They want her back. She has not made her mind up about it. She is on the fence. They wanted her to replace Mariah. There was no way she was going to do that. They started talking to her hard about next year. She really liked doing it but big question if she should do it again.”
Cannon was doing publicity for his own show, America’s Got Talent, which he hosts again starting June 4th. Today he also raised doubts that Carey would be coming back to the once-dominant show next year if asked. “If they get it stable she might relook at it, but she doesn’t want to be a part of anything unstable,” he told KTLA’s Sam Rubin. This season has set record lows.
Here’s Cannon’s KTLA appearance:
Cannon today also said Carey predicted problems between Minaj and her before the two were even brought on board as new judges this season. Read More »
Maybe a diva fight will get viewers to watch American Idol. Judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj were at it again last night on the same night Idol had its worst Wednesday rating ever. The judges got into a war of words that spilled onto Twitter today: Carey tweaked Minaj about her not having a “Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song.” Then the rapper wrote online: “What u SHOULD be doing (wit your messy ass) is asking why a woman SO successful at her age, is still so INSECURE, and bitter”. The two are actually tied with 44 Hot 100 hits, but Minaj has never had a tune make it higher than No. 3 on the charts. Minaj also tweaked Carey about reports that Jennifer Lopez may be returning to the show. “All dem #1s but JLo phone ringin? LOL. I guess having a personality, being a secure woman, and giving genuine critique still trumps that.” Carey has not responded to Minaj’s latest taunts, and Minaj seems to have dropped it for now. But like the dust-up between the testy two late last year the new brouhaha brought Idol some badly needed attention. Will sparks between the two judges who so obviously dislike each other translate into much needed numbers tonight?
Fox‘s music competition American Idol maybe should switch to the drama series awards categories with all the behind-the-scenes drama on the show. There has been another wave of rumors and speculation over the past 12 hours, and here’s what I’ve learned: There was an idea at Fox about a month ago to replace new judge Mariah Carey with her predecessor Jennifer Lopez midway through the live shows. I hear Lopez was approached and was very interested. (She has a new single coming out.) However, I hear there was concern among some parties involved that the move could appear desperate and further damage the Idol brand. It is unclear how much in the loop on the replacement plot Carey and her team were, but I hear they didn’t have to resort to legal action as the idea of a midstream judge switcheroo went away after a brief discussion. However, it has got to have a lingering effect on the morale of the Idol judges, who already know they were likely on the chopping block for next season because of plummeting ratings. With Lopez, the talk to replace Carey morphed into a guest appearance on Idol, which is still a possibility for the show’s upcoming season finale. She recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars and could be back in the mix for a judge spot on next season’s Idol.
With few exceptions, the success and failure and memorability of most competition reality shows has nothing to do with the contestants. It’s the judges, stupid. So Deadline is going to judge the judges. Criteria will include 1) Expertise in their field, 2) Confidence in their role, 3) Connecting with their contestants, and finally 4) Their charisma and controversy. We start with American Idol’sNicki Minaj and Mariah Carey:
The gold standard of competition TV judges on American Idol is and will always be Simon Cowell. The acerbic Brit was a nobody in America when Idol debuted. But his long history as an A&R exec gave his criticisms and compliments weight and credibility. Same with Randy Jackson, who was a record producer. But short-lived Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres had no background in the music biz. A judges panel usually consist of the nice one, the tell-it-like-it-is one, and the icon or role model. A judge’s job is to rid the show of wannabes going nowhere and encourage potential stars. American Idol has three new judges on the show this season but let’s be honest: there are really only two Idol judges worth talking about — Nicki and Mariah. A sop to the country music market, freshman Keith Urban is just a pleasant prop in strategically distressed blue jeans. Veteran Jackson is just an ineffectual prop who should have been removed last … Read More »
UPDATE 10 AM: American Idol auditions got underway with all four judges present, including feuding Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey.
PREVIOUS: The ink on Nicki Minaj’sAmerican Idol contract is not even dry yet, and she already is at the center of a controversy that disrupted filming on the Fox reality show yesterday. In a video posted by TMZ last night, Minaj and fellow Idol judge Mariah Carey are seen going at each other, with Minaj instigating the fight by launching a barrage of expletives, including shouting “I told them I’m not f**kin’ putting up with her f**kin’ highness over there,” about Carey.
The heated exchange led to an early wrap of filming in Charlotte, North Carolina. “It did go too far, to the point where the producers said ‘let’s call it a day,’” Idol host Ryan Seacrest said of the altercation on his radio show this morning. “Those few contestants who didn’t get to see the judges, they’ll bring them back today.” Auditions are scheduled to continue as planned in Charlotte today. It remains to be seen if all four judges will show up.
According to industry insiders, Fox appears to have settled on a quartet of judges for the upcoming 12th season of American Idol with not a moment to spare as taped auditions are eyed to begin as early as next week. Joining confirmed new judge Mariah Carey will be Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and possibly Enrique Iglesias, who just wrapped his tour with departing Idol judge Jennifer Lopez and is negotiating with Fox. Information on their salaries is conflicting, but Carey’s is believed to be in the $15 million-$17 million range, Minaj’s and Iglesias’ in the $10 million-$12 million range, and Urban is rumored to be earning about $3 million-$5 million. Don’t forger host Ryan Seacrest, who also is pulling a cool $15 million a season. The role of original American Idol judge Randy Jackson remains unclear.
UPDATED: The announcement was made by Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly at the top of Fox’s TCA executive session. “I’m thrilled we could confirm that,” said Reilly, who called Carey up on his cell onstage. “I’m so excited to be joining Idol,” she said. As we reported Friday, Carey is believed to command a salary of more than $17 million for the next season of American Idol, which sets a new record for talent on a reality series, eclipsing the paycheck of Idol‘s Jennifer Lopez.
Reilly declined to comment on other aspects of Idol but did confirm both Steven Tyler and Lopez are leaving the show. (Earlier in the day, Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe hinted there was a 1% chance for Lopez to return.) Reilly said the decision was “mutual” with both Tyler and Lopez. “We came up on top but ratings for Idol were down and we know we’re not the only game in town anymore, so we need to keep things fresh,” Reilly said. After the Q&A session, Reilly did admit that Lopez’s departure and Carey’s appointment were related. While he didn’t feel comfortable calling Carey a replacement for Lopez, he did say that Fox brass zeroed in on getting Carey “once Jennifer Lopez declared that she … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I have learned that Mariah Carey is finalizing a deal to join Fox’s American Idol as a new judge. I hear Carey would command a salary of more than $17 million for next season, which would set a new record for talent on a reality series, eclipsing the paycheck of Idol‘s Jennifer Lopez.
I hear Fox moved quickly to secure Carey, who was previously courted for the network’s other singing competition, Simon Cowell’s The X Factor, as Idol has to set its taped auditions.
American Idol was the first major reality series to bring star power to its judging panel with the hire of JLo two years ago. NBC’s The Voice then landed Christina Aguilera, while Fox’s X Factor brought in Britney Spears. Idol, which for years had the singing competition market for itself, now has to share the space with The Voice and X … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Randy Jackson has sold a siblings singing competition show to MTV. Basing itself off groups with siblings like the Jackson 5, the Beach Boys, Hanson and The Jonas Brother, the untitled series will feature groups with siblings in them competing against each other. The Jackson-produced show, which is early stages of development, is getting ready to start casting and looking for family bands and groups, a source said. TheAmerican Idol judge’s Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment has partnered on the project with DiGA, the production company of former top MTV executives Tony DiSanto and Liz Gately, which is backed by Ben Silverman’s Electus. The sibling series expands Jackson’s relationship with MTV, where he executive produces America’s Best Dance Crew, currently in its seventh season. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood has been wondering exactly when Simon Cowell’s The X Factor debuting on Fox this fall would start adding some celebrity glitz. Now I’ve learned it’s coming soon. The X Factor judges will have one superstar work in each panelist’s respective home to whip their contestants into shape for the show. And Simon Cowell is in final negotiations to have Mariah Carey as his personal pick to mentor his contestants from his house. “He’s still finalizing her deal,” an insider tells me. The X Factor is pulling out all the stops to draw in other superstars as mentors. Contacts are being made now with “the Beyoncés, the Rihannas, all of them.” the insider tells me. The X Factor‘s UK original series reportedly has signed up Usher as a mentor. Mariah’s name has been mentioned in connection with the U.S. show from the beginning but her twins pregnancy prevented her from being one of the judges. This is an interesting way for her and other music pros to be showcased. The result is that The X Factor could outglitz both The Voice and American Idol by combining the best elements from each. The series will air Tuesday and Wednesday nights each week beginning September 21st.
UPDATED: The incomparable Simon Cowell met the TCA press from afar — via satellite from an undisclosed location that looked suspiciously like a luxury yacht at sea — to promote his latest Fox singing competition to hit America, The X Factor, which arrives needing little plugging. Early on, he confirmed that he’s in talks with Mariah Carey for a mentor-type role on the series that will air Tuesday and Wednesday nights each week beginning Sept. 21. “There are certain sections of the show that I’m hoping Mariah will get involved in,” he said. “She’s been enthusiastic (to be a part of the show) from day one. But then she selfishly got pregnant, which is why she didn’t end up as a judge.”
Cowell also was asked early on in the session to address the Cheryl Cole fiasco, wherein the popular judge on the British X Factor was brought to the U.S. version, only to get bounced after a single taping. “A few of us made the decision while we were filming the show that we felt Cheryl was going to be more comfortable doing the UK show than the American show. Unfortunately, when the story went public, negotiations fell apart. But she was offered the chance to come back to America. But for certain reasons, she decided not to. I guess that’s what happens when you make reality TV. Real things happen. It doesn’t always go your way.” Cowell dismissed speculation that any friction between Cole and fellow judge Paula Abdul may have played a role in Cole’s ouster. “If not getting along with Paula was a factor, I wouldn’t be on the show,” he said. Read More »