Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj leaving 'American Idol'

Thu May 30, 2013 9:18pm EDT
 
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Mariah Carey and rapper Nicki Minaj will leave "American Idol" after just one season as judges on the singing contest show, following on the heels of longtime judge Randy Jackson who left amid a TV ratings slump.

"Thank you American Idol for a life changing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world! Time to focus on the Music!!!" Minaj said on her Twitter page on Wednesday.

Carey's departure was also announced on Twitter by her public relations firm PMK BNC, which said the singer "says goodbye 2 idol" as she prepared to embark on a world tour.

Carey, 43, joined the judging panel with Minaj, country singer Keith Urban and Jackson, a music producer, for the show's 12th season.

Carey reportedly earned $18 million while Minaj's salary was reported to be $12 million and Urban's was at $8 million for the season.

Carey and Minaj, 30, grabbed headlines throughout the season for their on-camera arguments and off-camera feuding, with Carey saying in January that she had hired extra security following threats reportedly made against her by Minaj.

Despite the added star power of Carey, Minaj and Urban, the show's ratings slumped to the lowest in 12 seasons, with the May 16 season finale of "Idol" drawing 14.2 million to see vocal powerhouse Candice Glover win the competition.

Fox released statements following the announcements of both judges.   Continued...

 
Randy Jackson (C) is embraced by Mariah Carey (L) and Nicki Minaj (R) as he finishes his final season as a judge during the Season 12 finale of "American Idol" in Los Angeles in this May 16, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Phil McCarten/Files