American Idol

Nick Cannon: I don't know if 'American Idol' can afford Mariah Carey

July 16, 2012 at 10:21 AM ET

Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP /
Will Mariah Carey join "American Idol" next season? According to her husband, Nick Cannon, the real question is: Can "Idol" afford her?

With two empty seats on the “American Idol” panel since Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits, “Idol” buzz is now about which stars could step in and replace the former judges. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Aretha Franklin and former contestant Adam Lambert have all been rumored to be in talks. But there’s another name that always seems to come up whenever casting for the talent show is considered -- Mariah Carey.

Even before Simon Cowell said so long to the show, rumors put Carey at the top of the “Idol” wish list. But fans hoping to see the singer accept the gig this time around might be disappointed again. According to Carey’s husband, “American’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon, it just doesn’t seem likely.

"I don't know if they can afford a Mariah Carey,” Cannon recently told TMZ. “That's a lot of money.”

He then joked that “if they gave J.Lo $20 million, they might have to double that!"

Cannon insisted that despite his insider status, he doesn’t really know what will happen. (“I’m not her manager; I’m her husband.”) Still, he might be on to something all the same.

“They’re low-balling all the judges right now,” E! News correspondent Jason Kennedy revealed during a Monday morning visit to TODAY. “They’re not giving them the lucrative contracts. The show has struggled a little bit in the ratings, (but) it’s still No. 1. … But can they afford someone like a Mariah Carey? She’s definitely in the running for it. And then … Aretha Franklin recently has expressed some interest, so the jury’s still out.”

And even if both Carey and Franklin decided to sign on for the TV talent competition, there might still be another vacancy to fill before the next season kicks off.

“Randy Jackson’s onboard as of now,” Kennedy said, “but some sources are saying he won’t be back either.”

Big bucks aside, do think Mariah Carey would make a good addition to the “American Idol” panel? Tell us your top picks for replacement judges and share your thoughts about the shakeups so far on our Facebook page.


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