Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey quit 'American Idol'
Updated at 8:16 p.m. ET: It's official: "American Idol" is down two more judges as both Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj announced their departures after only one season on Thursday night.
Carey was the first to reveal her exit when her publicist tweeted that the success of her new single, "#Beautiful," is prompting the superstar to go on a world tour and leave the singing competition.
Carey herself has not yet commented on her decision, other than to retweet PMK-BNC. But the network and the show's producers issued a joint statement bidding her adieu:
“Mariah Carey is a true global icon -- one of the most accomplished artists on the planet -- and we feel extremely fortunate that she was able to bring her wisdom and experience to the 'American Idol' contestants this season," the statement by Fox, 19 Entertainment and Freemantle Media said. "We know she will remain an inspiration to 'Idol' hopefuls for many seasons to come.”
Shortly after the announcement, Minaj made her own exit via Twitter:
"Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to 'American Idol' and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best," Fox and producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment said in a statement.
Of the three new judges who joined in season 12, only Keith Urban remains, though his future on the show is not yet clear.
Original judge Randy Jackson announced shortly before the finale that he was exiting at the end of the season. Even before news of his resignation came, rumors of a complete overhaul of the judges' table had been rampant as the former ratings juggernaut continued to lose viewers. Recent reports suggest the show may be bringing back former contestants to fill out the panel next season.
Carey and Minaj's tenure on the show was rocky from the start because of their well-publicized spats. Critics never took to Carey, who appeared to lacked focus and did not provide constructive criticism of the contestants, while few longtime "Idol" fans seemed to appreciate Minaj and her outgoing character.
The new judges must be in place by August when the auditions begin.