But can he take away the pain? After much rumor and deliberation, it looks like American Idol has settled on four names to comprise its panel of judges when the reality singing competition returns for its 12th season on FOX in January.
Back in July, FOX confirmed that pop diva Mariah Carey would be joining the show after last season's judges, Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, vacated their seats on the panel. Recently, industry sources reported that rapper Nicki Minaj and country music star Keith Urban would also be serving as judges on the popular program. Now comes word that Idol has decided to expand the panel to a quartet with the addition of Latin singer/songwriter Enrique Iglesias.
Original judge Randy Jackson, who has been a well-regarded cast member since the series premiered in 2002, is expected to remain on the show in a different capacity, likely in a mentor role.
The salaries of the new judges are not confirmed, but Carey is rumored to be making the most, in the $15-$17 million range, followed by Minaj and Iglesias between $10-$12 million, and Urban pulling up behind with $3-$5 million. Host Ryan Seacrest will be returning and he is expected to pull in $15 million on top of that.
With these four new names, the gamut of popular music is covered with pop, rap, country, and Latin music being represented. Apparently, rock 'n' roll is dead and American Idol is dancing on its grave. Will you be watching?