Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj to depart American Idol panel

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Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj announced this this month they will depart from the American Idol panel at the end of this season.

Carey confirmed her exit on Twitter, Thursday, stating that she will no longer serve as a judge on the singing competition program.
The singer’s public relations firm said the 43-year-old singer was focusing on preparations for a world tour.

Her announcement comes on the heels of Rapper Minaj’s decision two weeks ago to quit the team.
Minaj tweeted to her 16 million Twitter followers: “Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn’t trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!! Mmmuuuaahhh!”

Both Carey and Minaj served with country singer Keith Urban and music industry veteran Randy Jackson for the show’s 12th season.
According to sources, Carey earned $18 million and Minaj’s salary was reported to have been $12 million.

The ratings for the show have fallen to their lowest point in 12 years. 4.2 million fans watched the season finale, which was won by singer Candice Glover.

Fox, the network which airs the show, said of Carey, “she was a “true global icon.” Fox added the network felt “extremely fortunate” that she was part of the show. FremantleMedia, the show’s production company joined the network in commenting on Minaj’s decision, saying “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.
“Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best.”

The only remaining original judge, Jackson, has also announced he will leave the show at the end of the current series. He said he wanted time to focus on his record label business.

“To put all of the speculation to rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol, I have decided to leave after this season,” he said in a statement.
Jackson, 56, has served on all the Americas Idol series beginning in 2002 when he first made appearance on the panel with Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. “I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry,” he said.

Ryan Seacrest , host of the show, had implied on Thursday’s elimination episode that Randy would leave the show.
“A little later on, we’ll be revealing who’s leaving our show,” he joked as he addressed Jackson. “Maybe a head’s up?”

There has been some speculation that the entire panel will be replaced next season. Fox TV and FremantleMedia, however, declined to comment.

The show, American Idol, was the most popular entertainment program on prime time television for nine years in the United States. The current 12th season is set to finish next week with a face-off between R&B vocalist, Candice Glover, 23, from South Carolina and country singer Kree Harrison, 22, from Texas.

American Idol program was created by Simon Fuller and patterned after the British series, Pop Idol. The notion was to find the new solo recordings of artists where the winners were chosen by the viewers in the US.

By Perviz Walji

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