'American Idol' reportedly considered replacing Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj midseason, bringing Jennifer Lopez back
By Reality TV World staff, 04/24/2013
American Idol producers considered replacing judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj in the middle of the show's currently-airing season in an attempt to end its ratings decline, according to reports.
"They considered everything," a source told E! News. "Including replacing just one and replacing both."
According to The Hollywood Reporter -- which was the first to report the show considered dismissing Carey from the twelfth-season judging panel midseason -- American Idol producers even discussed replacing Carey with former judge Jennifer Lopez, who left the panel after last year's eleventh season.
However Carey reportedly "responded with a threat of litigation," causing producers to drop the idea.
Fox denied the claim when contacted by The Reporter, which also reported Idol is still in talks to have Lopez appear on next month's finale.
"This is just another ridiculous Idol judge rumor, likely started by talks of Jennifer performing on the finale," a Fox spokeswoman said.
"I have not been included in any conversation regarding replacing Mariah with Jen this season," Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe added.
A representative for Carey also reportedly denied the claim while Idol's Fremantle NorthAmerica production company declined comment.
However, regardless of whether it happens midseason, viewers can reportedly expect another judging panel shakeup before American Idol's thirteenth season airs next year.
"There will definitely be changes to the judging panel for next season," a source told E! News. "Fox thought the Nicki-Mariah contrast would make for ratings, but there is concern it is like nails on [a] chalkboard for middle-America viewers."
"[Nicki] isn't likely to go," another source added. "But it depends on who else gets the other spots."