American Idol's upcoming twelfth season is undergoing a mix-up. It was announced earlier this month that judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez would not be returning to the series after serving as judges for two years, leaving Randy Jackson as the sole judge of the singing competition (previous judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Kara DioGuardi, and Ellen DeGeneres have all bid the show farewell). It's not even quite confirmed that Jackson will return at this point.
But if he does, Randy can't be left all alone behind that judges' table! Who will be joining him as a replacement for the departed Tyler and Lopez? At the TCA's on Monday, it was announced that a new judge for season 12 would be -- drumroll please -- Mariah Carey!
Carey had been rumored to be involved after Lopez's departure, but nothing was confirmed until Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly made the announcement himself. He then called Carey on the phone to weigh in on the announcement.
"I am so excited to be joining 'Idol,'" she shared. "I wanted to be there today and I wish I could've been there myself to tell you. But I think you know this all kind of just happened really quickly."
Carey's presence also makes Jackson's return a little more likely. "Randy was very instrumental in doing this deal [with Carey]," Reilly shared.
Carey has been a pop star since the 1990s, with bestselling albums such as 'Daydream' and 'Butterfly.' Her most recent outing was 2010's 'Merry Christmas II You,' though she has an album slated to be released in either 2012 or 2013 -- the sales of which will likely be boosted by her stint on American Idol.
American Idol's twelfth season is slated to kick off on FOX in January 2013. We'll keep you posted on any more developments with the judges' panel.