Mariah Carey Nears Finalized 'American Idol' Deal

Mariah Carey Nears Finalized 'American Idol' Deal Forgive the pun, but the "X-factor" in landing Mariah Carey on "American Idol" versus that other Fox primetime singing competion as a judge may prove to be Randy Jackson.

The collector of Grammys, mother of twins and wife of Nick Cannon is close finalizing a deal to judge the twelfth season of "Idol" in one of two vacant spots, sources close to the show tell Deadline.

If the rumors prove valid, she'd make nearly $17 million this coming season, a number that reportedly tops what even Jennifer Lopez made before her recent departure.

Currently, "Idol" finds itself with its back against one unfamiliar wall. Lopez and fellow judge Steven Tyler have both recently made their departures official. Even Jackson - a past production collaborator with Carey, and with host Ryan Seacrest, one of only two personalities remaining from the show's debut - hasn't signed anything locking him in for the upcoming cycle. The eleventh season was marked by falling ratings, falling ad revenue and this past week, "Idol" not receiving a Best Reality-Competition Emmy nomination for the first time in its decade-plus history.

To top it all off, word is that Fox is considering budget cuts, salary reductions and layoffs to keep the show financially viable.

If Carey's signing becomes official - and that's  a big "if," since she once looked like a likely candidate to replace Paula Abdul or Nicole Scherzinger on "The X Factor" - it sets up an interesting twist with three renowned recording divas each on one of the three big singing competitions. Britney Spears inked a $20-milllion deal this spring to co-judge "The X Factor" and Christina Aguilera this fall will begin her third season co-judging "The Voice" on NBC.

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