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Mariah Carey Will Make $18 Million on American Idol


The newest face at the judges’ table is taking home the biggest paycheck.

Mariah Carey, who has officially signed on to join American Idol, will reportedly earn about $18 million for the season.

“Her deal is rumored to be just under $18 million for one year with an option to renew,” a source familiar with the negotiation tells PEOPLE.

Carey, 43, will reportedly be the highest paid judge on any reality show.

POLL: American Idol: Will Mariah Carey Be a Tougher Judge Than Jennifer Lopez?

With Lopez – whose exit had nothing to do with dollar signs, said a source – Steven Tyler and potentially Randy Jackson out of the mix, Carey’s panel companions (and their pay rates) have yet to be confirmed.

“It’s gonna be so much fun working on @AmericanIdol,” Carey Tweeted Monday when her new gig was made official. “As a singer-songwriter, I’m excited to help find and nurture new talent.”

And Carey isn’t the only one who pulls in serious pay on reality TV. According to reports, Christina Aguilera will make about $10 million on the third season of The Voice. Howard Stern’s turn as a judge on America’s Got Talent came with a $15 million paycheck.

Money aside, Carey is “totally elated,” adds the source. “She’s in the studio, and she’s getting ready to record the video for her new single, “Triumphant” – certainly an appropriate title, and it was written before the deal.”

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