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Mariah Carey Joins ‘American Idol,’ Completing Network Pop-Star Judge Holy Trinity

Mariah Carey / Photo by Getty Images

Mariah Carey just confirmed that she will be filling one of the two seats recently vacated by Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler on the upcoming season of American Idol. The news came via a telephone call with FOX president Kevin Reilly, who is making an appearance at the Television Critics Association’s annual press tour in Los Angeles today and got the singer on the line to announce her sign-on herself.

“I’m so excited to be joining Idol,” Carey said. “I can’t wait to get started” (via HitFix). Reilly followed up her announcement by confirming that J-Lo and S-Ty’s exits were 100 percent final, though still no word on whether Randy Jackson will return to his post.

Carey’s confirmation, which makes the impossibly gifted singer perhaps the most qualified vocal competition judge ever, means all three of the biggest reality-singing competitions now have a diva on their judging panels: Britney Spears is now a judge (a mean one, too, from the promos!) on Simon Cowell’s The X Factor and Christina Aguilera and her parade of tiny hats help mentor the competition on The Voice.

Mariah’s judge spot makes a whole lot of sense, seeing that (a) Jackson is her co-manager, and (b) she supposedly has an album coming out very, very soon. However, considering the boost Jennifer Lopez’s album got from her performances on the show, fans will have to wait and see whether the new responsibility readjusts the new album’s arrival date. The new Idol season will return sometime in early 2013.