Mariah Carey may be getting closer to finalizing a lucrative deal as an “American Idol” judge. Carey could be looking at a 17-million dollar paycheck. The singer’s husband, Nick Cannon recently spoke to TMZ about his wife’s potential new job. He said he didn’t think “Idol” could “afford Mariah.” But since it was revealed last week that “Idol” was shut out for the first time in the Best Reality-Competition category for the Emmys, some believe Fox may now be willing to dish out extra bucks for Carey’s star power. Mariah’s big pay day could outdo Jennifer Lopez’s rumored first-season salary of 12-million dollars for her judge’s role on “Idol.” Lopez recently quit the show.

It could also surpass the salary Britney Spears is reportedly making for her judging role on “The X Factor.” Sources say the “Gimme More” singer is set to receive 15-million for her efforts on the Fox talent show.

Lopez and Steven Tyler have officially withdrawn from “American Idol” as judges. Adam Lambert, Nicki Minaj, Fergie, and Will.i.am are also rumored to be in consideration as replacements. It is not known if Randy Jackson will renew his contract or opt for a mentoring position.

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