Can Mariah Carey Save ‘American Idol?’

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Can Mariah Carey Save ‘American Idol?’
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Can Mariah Carey bring "Idol" back to life?

It's only been two weeks since Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced that they were stepping down from "American Idol," and now comes the news that pop diva Mariah Carey has landed a seat at the judges' table. Does Mimi have what it takes to save "Idol?"

It has been a lackluster year for the once-reigning music show. In addition to sagging ratings and stiff competition from newbie shows like "The Voice" and "The X Factor,"(not to mention Carey's own hubby Nick Cannon's show, "America's Got Talent"), "American Idol" was unceremoniously snubbed at this year's Prime Time Emmy nomination ceremony. (In its place? "The Voice," with it's spinny "Star Trek" chairs.)

But while the "American Idol" judges' table had a major overhaul just two seasons ago, could Mariah Carey be just what this show needs?

She's getting paid

Mariah's reported salary for her "Idol" gig has been rumored to be anywhere from 12 to $17 million. Either way, that buys a lot of butterflies, glitter, or whatever else she needs. And with a payday like that, even a diva may learn how to play nice. But not too nice, we hope!

She's got a friend

No one is throwing her to the wolves. Mariah's already got a close friend on the judges' panel: Her very own manager, Randy Jackson. While it's been rumored that Jackson may be moved to a mentoring role on the show, Mariah will still be very much in her comfort zone.

She won't be a J-Lo clone

While they are both considered pop superstars, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez have little in common. (Okay, they're both mothers of twins, but the similarities stop there!) Back in 2008, Mariah even appeared on "Idol" as a guest mentor but apparently she was no J-Lo. According to a TMZ source, back then the diva acted the part in a major way-- behind the scenes, anyway-- showing up super late for a photo shoot, and reportedly acting "not very nice at all." One source called her "a nightmare" to work with. In contrast, J-Lo was described as being a pleasure.

Of course, Mariah Carey's mentoring role looked good on our end. She was spunky, sweet, and full of helpful tidbits. Her advice to a nervous bunch of Season 7 contestants that included Carly Smithson, David Cook and David Archuleta? "Do you," she said. "And do a great job. And say a little prayer, and everything's going to be alright."

Right back at ya, Mariah!

"American Idol" Season 12 will debut in January on Fox.

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