Mariah Carey Is Joining 'American Idol' as a Judge

"I can't wait to get started in a couple months," she announces via telephone at the TCAs

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty

Lopez, out. Carey, in.

One pop diva will replace another on American Idol next season as Mariah Carey said Monday she’s signed on as a judge.

The deal was announced with show biz flair at the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills during comments by Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly about the exodus of Idol judges.

Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez have both quit, and Randy Jackson is said to be on the bubble.

“We do, in fact, have one judge whose deal closed very, very recently,” Reilly told reporters at the Beverly Hilton. “It’s an artist that many contestants have tried to emulate, have tried to have sung the songs, have tried to hit the notes and because it really was concluded only hours ago, our judge couldn’t be with us.”

He then put a phone call on speaker phone, and Carey’s voice could be heard.

“I am so excited to be joining Idol,” she said. “First of all, I wanted to be there today and I wish I could’ve been there to tell you, but I think you know this all kind of just happened real quickly, so I can’t wait to get started in a couple months.”

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