And then there were two. Mariah Carey confirmed today that she is leaving American Idol, joining original Idol judge Randy Jackson. “W/ global success of #Beautiful (#1 in 30+ countries so far) @MariahCarey confirms world tour & says goodbye 2 Idol,” said a tweet Carey retweeted from her publicist PMK BNC. The exit by the multi-platinum singer after just one season on the judges’ panel doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Hubby Nick Cannon essentially said she would be leaving the veteran Fox singing competition series back in May because of the on- and off-screen drama with fellow rookie Nicki Minaj. Also, with the once dominant Idol seeing double-digit ratings declines and an all-time finale low this year, change seemed to be in the air on the show going into a 13th season. There’s still no official word yet whether Minaj and fellow freshman Keith Urban also will depart. (UPDATE: Minaj is now gone too). Jackson announced earlier this month he was leaving.
As for Carey, Fox and producers FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment said today: “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. We know she will remain an inspiration to Idol hopefuls for many seasons to come”.