With Steven Tyler and (potentially) Jennifer Lopez heading out, the singer is "in play," a source says

By Liz McNeil and Alison Schwartz
July 13, 2012 09:00 AM
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Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty

Mariah Carey came to fame for her powerhouse vocal chords – but does she have what it takes to mentor aspiring singers?

Upon Steven Tyler’s confirmation that he will not return to the American Idol judges’ table – and amid buzz that Jennifer Lopez is likely following in his footsteps – Carey, 42, may be making her way to the Fox singing competition.

“She’s in play,” an insider tells PEOPLE. “They are in serious talks.”

Since the show began switching up the panel when Paula Abdul left in 2009, the only original judge on the panel is Randy Jackson, who has collaborated with Carey throughout her career.

Not that is seems like a bad gig: “I love everybody. I love all the guys on the show,” Lopez told the Today show upon hinting, “I am thinking that it’s time for me to go.”