‘Idol’ execs tried to replace Mariah Carey with Jennifer Lopez midseason

When I watched American Idol early this season I was impressed with how “nice” Mariah Carey was at that point, especially compared to Nicki Minaj, who was a real bitch, and not the funny awesome kind like us. I recently caught an episode from two weeks ago, (when Candice killed it singing the Cure’s Lovesong) and Mariah was so self-centered that her advice rang hollow. Nicki wasn’t bad, and although she played with her hair constantly she did seem more connected to the contestants and she gave good feedback. I put a call out on Facebook for opinions on the show, as my mom is the only one I know who watches it regularly. The fact that only one person answered out of 900-something people goes to show that not many people are watching it.

My one Facebook buddy who got back to me, Gigi of Gigi Eats Celebrities, says that she went to a taping last week and that “Mariah didn’t stand up once – when everyone else did. I really think those two think the show is a complete joke. Perhaps they know something we don’t- that AI is not being renewed? Or that they are both def not coming back.”

I think Gigi is right, because Mariah Carey is doing so poorly that AI honchos tried to replace her midseason with ex judge Jennifer Lopez! Mariah’s legal team shot that down really quick. It’s not just about Mariah’s lackluster personality, they need to shake things up because the show is tanking in the ratings.

With ratings in a steep slide, American Idol producers and Fox executives in recent weeks hatched a dramatic plan to jumpstart the show: replace judge Mariah Carey with Jennifer Lopez, according to knowledgeable sources.

These sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Carey, who was touted as the big new addition to the judge’s panel this year, responded with a threat of litigation. With that, the plan was dropped, though Idol’s producers still are negotiating with Lopez, who served as a popular judge during the past two seasons, to appear on the show’s finale in May. And insiders say a search already has begun to replace Carey, most likely Nicki Minaj and possibly the entire judge’s panel for next season.

“This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale,” a Fox spokeswoman tells THR in a statement. Producer Fremantle NorthAmerica declines to comment. A rep for Carey denies these allegations. Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe tells THR: “I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season.”

American Idol kicked off its 12th season on solid enough footing. Earning a 6.0 rating with adults 18-49 and 17.9 million total viewers in its January return, the 17 percent dip was less precipitous than some of the bigger drops in recent years. But the months since have been less kind. The Wednesday performance show is currently averaging a 4.3 rating with adults 18-49, its worst performance since its inaugural season in 2001. And it is dropping nearly every week.

Even worse for Idol, the robust reboot of NBC’s The Voice with Shakira and Usher recently has seen ratings climb to a 5.2 rating in the demo during the same week Idol bottomed out with a series low 2.8 rating. Adding insult to injury, Idol made headlines last week when preliminary numbers showed its total viewers for a results show was beaten by a repeat of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

Maybe Idol isn’t doing so well because it’s predictable. They have the same format as they’ve had for years and it seems like every episode lasts forever. They drag things out to a ridiculous degree. They should think about mixing up the show, not the judges necessarily. It’s probably not a bad idea to replace Mariah and Nicki though. THR goes on to report that producers are currently looking for judges for next season and they may go with an industry type who isn’t necessarily famous. We saw how that worked out with Kara Dioguardi.

J.Lo is shown on 3-23. Mariah is shown on 3-7. Credit: WENN.com

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31 Responses to “‘Idol’ execs tried to replace Mariah Carey with Jennifer Lopez midseason”

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  1. Koda says:

    I can’t believe people even still watch American Idol. I stopped watching in 2005 and started watching in 2004. lol

  2. lisa2 says:

    Mariah is a horrible judge. I don’t want to see her being a DIVA. I want a judge to give great commentary. I know people don’t like Nikki. But I actually think she is a good judge. I think all that pre show drama hurt her more than Mariah.. but I would rather watch Nikki.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      I would absolutely agree with this. I do not like Nicki, never have. She is aggressive, showed up late to a live taping one week, showed her thong last week, she can be crude…BUT.. her feedback to the contestants is very helpful. She is good at putting into words what they are doing wrong and need to improve on and she gives praise when it is due. Constructive criticism is what the judges are supposed to do. Mariah is a sweet person, but total airhead when giving feedback, and never tells a contestant what they could do better. She says “um” every other word, looks up at the ceiling when giving her thoughts and rambles at best. I am personally obsessed with Keith (have been for years), but he needs to give better feedback. Randy is stale. NEVER thought I would say this, but Nicki is the strongest judge they have on there and they would be smart to keep her on there. Plus she can be funny at times, definitely livens up what would otherwise be a very boring show.

  3. SunnySide says:

    Minaj is beyond obnoxious and Mariah really does not stand up! The judging panel gave at least 3 standing ovations last night and Mariah sat through every one. I don’t know if this is a regular thing as this is the only episode I’ve ever seen but it was strange!

    • Jenny says:

      I think maybe her dresses are so tight it’s hard for her to repeatedly get up and sit down?

      • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

        Yes – there was an episode a few weeks ago where all the judges stood up for a contestant and Mariah did not and said she wanted to but she was afraid her dress would slip up while standing…lame excuse whether it’s true or not. Wear looser clothes so you can do your job – she is making INSANE money for being on there. Standing up once every few weeks is not asking too much. And ppl think Duchess Kate is lazy! Psh

  4. Shelley says:

    She is Mariah Carey…there are very few people in this world who are worthy of a standing ovation from her

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:


    • Mia says:

      I completely agree!

    • Kosmos says:

      Mariah may not have done a perfect job as judge, but I notice she is ‘extremely’ kind and appreciative of each contestant’s performance. I like Mariah even more after seeing how kind she really is, so anyone who says she is otherwise must not be paying attention. She’s acted professionally during each episode. Her only fault might be not critiquing the contestants harshly enough. By all means, do NOT bring JLo back. She is the epitome of the kind of self-centered, talentless person that I prefer not to see anywhere.

  5. The Wizz says:

    Is American Idol still the only idol franchise still running?

  6. dorothy says:

    Is that show still on? Good grief.

  7. tifzlan says:

    I hear Mariah is well-liked by the contestants because behind the scenes, she gives them very good advice in a motherly way, instead of just criticizing and shooting them down. I feel like she will be better in a mentor type role instead of as a judge. Maybe Idol can revamp by having one constant mentor throughout the seasons in addition to guest mentors? I don’t watch the show though, and i haven’t since David Archuleta’s season so i don’t really care. I am a Mariah fan though.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      I would say that is Jimmy Iovene’s role? He is the behind the scenes resident mentor for all the contestants week-to-week.

  8. flutters says:

    In her own occasionally self centered way, I think Mariah’s proven to ‘get’ the contestants better than any other judge. Her problem is she takes forever to give comments and rambles. Keith Urban is the smartest and most articulate person there. Nicki has her moments but I’m over her. Unfortunately last night’s show showed the fix was on because the judges slobbered over the weakest contestant Amber just because she’s marketable. So, no matter if they’re Nicki the loose cannon or Keith the smart guy, they’re still stooges for the producers.

  9. valleymiss says:

    I hate reading this. I am a Mariah fan. Girlfriend can SANG (lol) and she gives constructive, specific advice most of the time. Yes, she doesn’t give many standing o’s. Since when is that a crime? These contestants aren’t here for praise, they’re here for advice and constructive criticism. Nikki on the other hand gives stupid advice like, “Last week you were my shining star, but this week, your star isn’t shining.” I’m sorry, but HOW is a contestant supposed to use that criticism to improve? Mariah is specific, as in, “On the 2nd verse, I noticed you went up and got out of the key of the song” or “I liked the choice you made on the bridge to do such and such.” Mariah is a true music fan, and she’s very particular about arrrangements. I find myself fascinated by her advice. She picks up on stuff that I would never notice, like the week she pointed out that Angela Miller was overpronouncing everything.

    Again, I know Mariah is a diva, but she’s got the goods to back it up. Bringing back J Lo, a woman who can’t sing, is ridiculous. The reason the show is bombing is because it’s been on for 10 years and the format is tired and we’ve got The Voice and X Factor now. I actually hadn’t watched Idol since maybe season 2 or 3. The ONLY reason I’m even watching is for Mariah. If she leaves, I leave. (Although Keith is fantastic eye candy!)

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      “…and she gives constructive, specific advice most of the time.” I wouldnt say “most.” This is a new thing for her. I am thinking the producers stepped in recently and told her she needs to be more specific about her critiques, bc for weeks there she would just ramble on about pretty much nothing while staring up at the ceiling. So she has improved, but I think it’s too little too late. I do not like Nicki as a person and she is very obnoxious and makes dramatic remarks, but she has been the most thorough judge regarding specific things the contestants need to work on throughout the season.

  10. MrsB says:

    They are trying to save a sinking ship. I think American Idol is done no matter who the judges are.

  11. lucy2 says:

    I haven’t watched this thing is years and years, but have a few friends who still do. I mostly see complaints about Nicki, she doesn’t seem very popular with the audience.
    If the ratings are in a nose dive, maybe it’s time to wrap it up. The show has made a TON of money, be happy with that and move onto the next.

  12. Mandy says:

    Ugh, I’m sorry, but I cannot stand any of these singing/talent shows. I’ve tried watching in the past to see what all the fuss was about and it just bored me to tears. And it seems to me at this point, that these shows have become all about the judges instead of the contestants. It’s so annoying.

  13. Maggie says:

    Well maybe they should give the contestants better songs to sing. Comes off as elevator music. It’s all so old,boring lifeless crap. These girls are young. I’m sick of the old balads. Lets hear something more current. Spice it up!

  14. CatJ says:

    I haven’t watched Idol in a few years, but, started again this season. OMG what a train wreck! The final four contestants are fantastic, but the judging by Minaj and Carey is poor. They constantly stroke their hair, give each other the side eye, roll their eyes while the other is talking. Minaj spends most of her time critiquing the singers outfits, and hasn’t got the vocabulary to express herself, and Mariah really just wants to “outdo” Minaj’s comments and call everyone “Dahling”. Keith is honest and concise, and knows music as well.Randy’s slang is distracting, until he explains if he likes the performance or not, and it is obvious from last night who is being pushed to the winner’s circle, as a commenter said above… Marketable, meaning slim, great hair, bright white teeth, not bad pipes, but…. not the best voice, IMO. It is time to tighten up the show, an revamp the judges.

    • EmmaStoneWannabe says:

      “Mariah call everyone “Dahling”. Keith is honest and concise, and knows music as well.Randy’s slang is distracting.”

      Thats a good way to sum up the whole panel.

  15. Mia says:

    I don’t care how entertaining J.Lo may be she can’t freaking sing! She never could. She’s a good dancer and good at shilling products. If J.Lo auditioned for this show with her “vocals” she wouldn’t make it past the first round. At least Mariah has the vocal ability and qualifications to judge other singers.

    • Kosmos says:

      I completely agree !!! Well said…. LOVE MARIAh, at least she’s nice and professional, although she does say ‘dahling’ way too much.

  16. BreeinSEA says:

    Does anyone else see the top pic? Its a chick showing her bra… wth? This happened on another article a few weeks ago of a porn pic in place of cb’s pic. I am on my phone so… idk.

  17. marla says:

    I believe this rumor was started by JLo herself who hasn’t done anything of notice in the industry lately..Way of bringing her back from the basement.like idol did in the first place..the ratings are dropping because the show is stale,and boring..Can’t even watch it anymore..And its true 3 judges is enough but so is 2 hours of Idol..

  18. Kosmos says:

    Ok, Inhave watched AI this entire season, mostly because I think the contestant, Candice Glover, is so fabulous. While Nicki M has been bossy and a bit over the top, Mariah has been unbelievably polite and well mannered. She has been consistently very kind to each contestant; however she did state in one show that she was getting flack because she was “too nice” and I have to agree with that. Since then, she has really improved and is giving a little more critique to the performances. I will say that after watching the show, I have come to really like Mariah even more because, although she may not have been critiquing enough, she has always been extremely nice. On the other hand, Nicki has turned me off. Keith Urban has done a very good job and seems like a perfect blend of being polite while giving his honest opinion to the contestants.