‘American Idol’ to get makeover with exits of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj
By Douglas Hyde and Greg Botelho, CNN.
(CNN) — There won’t just be a new winner next season on “American Idol.” Most everything about the show may be new.
Weeks after Randy Jackson announced his departure from Fox’s long-running music talent show, two of his fellow judges — Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj — followed him out the door Thursday.
That leaves only one “Idol” judge left in crooner Keith Urban — for now.
News of Carey’s departure came out first Thursday, in the form of a tweet posted on her official account that stated she was saying “goodbye 2 idol” (and, simultaneously, announced a new world tour). Players behind “American Idol” — namely Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment — confirmed her departure in a statement.
“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,” they said. “We know she will remain an inspiration to ‘Idol’ hopefuls for many seasons to come.”
Minaj followed up a short time later with a tweet of her own, making her exit official, also after a lone season.
“Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world!” the rapper wrote. “Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!!!”
After this tweet, Fox, FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment issued another statement saying they “understand and respect her decision” in light of “her extremely busy career.”
“Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to ‘American Idol’ and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season,” they said.
The two performers had been brought on following the exits of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, hoping to bolster the show’s ratings.
“Idol” had topped the Nielsen charts as America’s most watched program for eight years running. But that streak ended in 2012, and since then the show’s producers have made several changes. This season’s finale was earlier this month.
Carey and Minaj, though, ended up generating headlines more for their reported tiff than they did for bringing in more viewers.
Both of them join Jackson, who had been the only judge remaining from the program’s 2002 debut. Earlier this month, he announced he had voted himself off the show.
“It’s been a life-changing opportunity, but I am looking forward to focusing on my company, Dream Merchant 21, and other business ventures,” the musician and producer said.
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